The Way It Is by William Stafford
I’ve liked the poet William Stafford, ever since I first came across a poem by him in some kind of anthology. I think it was in junior high. I used to read a lot of poetry then. The poem in the anthology was, as best as I can remember it, his poem, Fifteen. Recently I came across this poem, The Way It Is. I love how it’s short. And the clear central image of a thread. Simple but not.
The poem begins:
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
And then there’s the line further down:
An appealing idea I think.
This thread—it’s an image that could become a writing idea—or a thinking idea—or a sewing idea?—a painting idea?—a collage?—to begin with a thread—
What is the thread that doesn’t change?
How does one recognize it?
How does one hold it?