A Glass Face in the Rain (Magill's Literary Annual 1983)
Five years earlier than the publication of A Glass Face in the Rain, a collected edition of William Stafford’s poems appeared. That publication, in 1977, did not mark for Stafford, as collected editions have for some poets, the end of his writing career. Steadily, in the intervening years, Stafford has continued to publish poems in a host of periodicals, including American Poetry Review, Cimarron Review, Harvard Magazine, Iowa Review, The New Yorker, Poetry, Spectrum, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and Wallace Stevens Journal. The range of readership of the sixty-two periodicals in which the poems have appeared is impressive. The range of periodicals also illustrates how solidly Stafford has established himself in the realm of American poetry, surviving through several decades when the future of poetry was in doubt, especially the 1950’s, when the poetic situation in America was torn by widely disparate points of view with the practice of the Beat Generation on the one hand and the academic poets on the other. Stafford’s poetry, which critics have suggested has caught the best of both sides, continues to demonstrate the poet’s vigor, although he is well along in life and in his career.
William Stafford is a poet who celebrates life, who finds in life veritable wonder, joyous at times, awestruck at times, and always...
(The entire section is 1474 words.)
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