Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life.
—from "Ask Me"
In celebration of the poet's centennial, Ask Me collects one hundred of William Stafford's essential poems. As a conscientious objector during World War II, while assigned to Civilian Public Service camps Stafford began his daily writing practice, a lifelong early-morning ritual of witness. His poetry reveals the consequences of violence, the daily necessity of moral decisions, and the bounty of art. Selected and with a note by Kim Stafford, Ask Me presents the best from a profound and original American voice.
In the tradition of the work of great fiction writers like Steinbeck, O’Connor, and Welty, The Osage Orange Tree stands the test of time, not just as an ode to a place and a generation but as a testament to the resilience of a nation and the strength of the human heart.