American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Poetry

William Stafford

Cutting Loose

Sometimes from sorrow, for no reason,
you sing. For no reason, you accept
the way of being lost, cutting loose
from all else and electing a world
where you go where you want to.

Arbitrary, a sound comes, a reminder
that a steady center is holding
all else. If you listen, that sound
will tell where it is, and you
can slide your way past trouble.

Certain twisted monsters
always bar the path—but that’s when
you get going best, glad to be lost,
learning how real it is
here on the earth, again and again.

William Stafford, Dancing with Joy: 99 Poems. Edited by Roger Housden. (Harmony; First Edition edition March 13, 2007)

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