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The Answers Are Inside the Mountains: Meditations on the Writing Life (Poets on Poetry) Paperback – November 25, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0472068548 ISBN-10: 0472068547

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The Answers Are Inside the Mountains: Meditations on the Writing Life (Poets on Poetry) + You Must Revise Your Life (Poets on Poetry) + The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems
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Product Details

  • Series: Poets on Poetry
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press (November 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0472068547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0472068548
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #797,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"William Stafford's quiet presence in the landscape of American poetry in my lifetime has been a kind of continuing reassurance whose value always seemed to me beyond question."

About the Author

William Stafford (1914–93) authored more than thirty-five books of poetry and prose, including the highly acclaimed Writing the Australian Crawl, You Must Revise Your Life, Crossing Unmarked Snow: Further Views on the Writer’s Vocation, and Traveling Through the Dark, winner of the National Book Award for Poetry.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Martin H. Dickinson on December 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The most important American poet of the second half of the Twentieth Century--Stafford is my top candidate, anyway. You may have somebody else in mind.

Stafford is so many things. For one, a poet of great spontaneity--of accepting what comes, of luck, and of writing it down:

"If you write . . . the activity of writing will make things occur to you in your mind. You write the documentary that you think, rather than the documentary that you live. When you write, it doesn't make so very much difference what you have done or intend to do, but it makes quite a bit of difference what occurs to you at the moment you're writing. . . . it's just as if you have a readiness to respond to what occurs to you at the moment."

Stafford is so humble that we may have yet to grasp how vast he is--how expansive his vision.

For Bill Stafford, writing is not about being a great writer, or getting published in the best publications--it's about being a good person--a whole way of life, of which the written poem on the page is an evidence, a record, a door that opens to us, his readers.

"In everyone's life there's all this torrent of things happening and a writer . . . maybe one way to say it would be someone who pays attention at least at intervals, to that torrent. Or a writer is not someone who has to dream of things to write, but has to figure out what to pick up out of the current as it goes by."

Lucky us, whether we write, or read or just live, that Paul Merchant and Vince Wixon put together this collection of Stafford's statements on his writing and teaching.

We're lucky indeed to have three other books in the same vein:
...Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By cellomansings on October 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you write, at all, this book is a gift. I have loved Stafford's poetry for a long time. What amazes me is how well he understands, and is able to describe, his process, and how accessible that process is. My enjoyment and fluency in writing have both taken off since I read this book. I am on my second reading because it feels like something that is just easing it's way into my bones, walk out the door, new ways of looking at the whole writing life....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Susamoo on November 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The task of living responsibly is synonymous with Stafford's work. The author makes it clear that writing daily is part of living uprightly. This book is a must-read for any writer with a social conscience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Frank Ryerson on August 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
No one demystifies the writing process while demonstrating the transcendent qualities of poetry like Stafford. This is one of four books with interviews and various prose pieces about writing created I believe after Stafford's death, and each one is a gem. Anyone with any interest in poetry, in the writing process, in art and beauty should read this guy, his writing on writing and his incomparable poetry.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A rewarding introduction to a poet I knew little of, should have known much more, and now happly I do.
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