William Stafford—A Course in Creative Writing

A Course in Creative Writing

They want a wilderness with a map—
but how about errors that give a new start?—
or leaves that are edging into the light?—
or the many places a road can’t find?

Maybe there’s a land where you have to sing
to explain anything: you blow a little whistle
just right and the next tree you meet is itself.
(And many a tree is not there yet.)

Things come toward you when you walk.
You go along singing a song that says
where you are going becomes its own
because you start. You blow a little whistle—

And a world begins under the map.

—William Stafford

Also see William Stafford—You and Art

6 Responses to “William Stafford—A Course in Creative Writing”

  1. INSPIRATION, a poem by Nathanael Chawkin « The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] idea of allowing, even encouraging writing to come spontaneously reminds me of a poem written by William Stafford—A Course in Creative Writing, in response to educators at a conference expecting writing instructors to clearly spell out how […]


  2. Don Draper Goes To The Movies | shift+7 Says:

    […] the person I was when I was writing before. I wasn’t in the same body. I wasn’t walking the same world. It’s hard to give a perfect description of what happened. There was the disillusionment of […]


  3. Billy Collins suggests more creative ways to respond to poetry than analyzing it to death | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] That’s how he wrote poems, early every morning. Enjoy reading these William Stafford poems, A Course in Creative Writing, and You and […]


  4. The perils of praise or blame for young writers. New ways to help students find their own voice. | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] He acted instead as a facilitator to help them discover the writing process for themselves, to find their own voice (A Course in Creative Writing), to let the writing take them where it will (You and […]


  5. William Stafford prescribed creative writing to find your own voice and reveal your inner light | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] I was discovering the writing process at the time and how to facilitate it, and found Stafford’s poems and his thoughts on the teaching of writing poetry to be very relevant. Here are a few that caught my attention: When I Met My Muse, You and Art, Ask Me, and A Course in Creative Writing. […]


  6. William Stafford’s poetry lightened his life having woven a parachute out of everything broken. | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] of those poems that stand out for me are: When I Met My Muse, You and Art, Ask Me, The Way It Is, A Course in Creative Writing, and Rx Creative Writing: […]


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