Ways to Live Criticism

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William Stafford was recognized as a unique poet, one who focused his attention on common life and moral decisions at a time when most poetry was moving away from a general moral judgment and toward an expression of individual perspective. Critics seldom failed to note Stafford's kind, gentle, fatherly poetic voice, which was perhaps a result of the fact that he was older than many of his contemporaries when he started to gain critical attention— Stafford was forty-six years old when his first book of poetry was published. For example, Louis Simpson, himself a respected poet, noted while reviewing Stafford's first collection in 1961 the way that he was able to maintain a personal voice while writing about significant matters that affect all readers. "Contrary to what many poets believe nowadays," Simpson wrote, "it is not necessary to spill your guts on the table in order to be 'personal...

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This section contains 771 words
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Poetry for Students
Ways to Live from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.