Posts Tagged ‘aphorism’

William Stafford—The Way It Is

September 5, 2009

This is my favorite William Stafford poem, and, much to my surprise, I came across a quote from the Vedic Literature with a similar theme, only it extends it to its ultimate spiritual conclusion. So I call this grouping: uncommon thread … cosmic thread.

THE WAY IT IS

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

—William Stafford

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He who knows the fine-drawn thread of which the creatures that we see are spun, who knows the thread of that same thread—he also knows Brahman, the Ultimate.

—Atharva Veda Samhita 10.8.37

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Listen to The Way It Is performed by Daniel Sperry from his CD: William Stafford: Cutting Loose ~ A Tribute To William Stafford.

See a video of cellist and composer Daniel Sperry perform William Stafford’s poem, “The Way It Is.”

And see William Stafford’s last poem: “Are you Mr. William Stafford?” also performed by Daniel Sperry.


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