Listening to Poetry

“My father could hear a little animal step,

or a moth in the dark against the screen,

and every far sound called the listening out

into places where the rest of us had never been.”

–William Stafford, “Listening”

Over this past month of William Stafford readings and celebrations, I was reminded of how wonderful it is to listen to poetry being read aloud. Written words should be shared; they have the power to transform us, to take us to places we’ve never been, and into the lives of strangers that somehow still seem familiar.

The William Stafford Archives is a wonderful place to go if you want to listen to some excellent poetry. With 118 poems included in the archives, and many of them available in audio files (see the link for “Listening” above), a quick browsing session can give you a lot of wonderful words to share.

We hope your trip to the archives might inspire you, or a student you know, to check out our contest page and learn more about the William Stafford Writing Contest.

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