Poetry Friday: You Reading This, Be Ready

June 18th, 2010

Here is a great poem by William Stafford for this Poetry Friday. Patrick Allen uses this poem in his book Conferring to remind himself what he needs to think about as he sits down to confer with a student: “To review what he is doing as a reader, to have him read aloud, to record my noticings. To provide instruction, to gather insights, to be intrigued. To plan together, to progress further, to set a purpose. I have to be ready.”

You Reading This, Be Ready
William Stafford

Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life –

What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?

Entry Filed under: Poetry Friday

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mary Lee  |  June 18th, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Lovely.

    This is my favorite:

    “Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
    than the breathing respect that you carry
    wherever you go right now?”

  • 2. Laura Evans  |  June 18th, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    I like this part of the poem:

    What can anyone give you greater than now

    I can get stuck thinking about the future. This line is a good reminder to me.

    Laura Evans
    all things poetry

  • 3. Laura Shovan  |  June 18th, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    This is a new Stafford poem for me. I love these lines:
    “Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
    than the breathing respect that you carry
    wherever you go”

    Thanks for sharing it.

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