About as far from Birkenau as one can get, the town where my granddaughter lives is called Winthrop. It sits small in the Methow Valley, a place of spectacular beauty on the eastern slope of the majestic Cascade Range, far north in the state of Washington. Native Americans knew that valley and its glistening rivers long before it became one of the last places in the American West to be settled by white men and women. While I was working on this book during a December 2004 visit with my granddaughter, Keeley Brooks, I was also reading the words of a writer who was new to me, just as Elie Wiesel had been some thirty-five years ago. I discovered that the poet William Stafford (1914–93) is one of America’s national treasures.
- 1.William Stafford, “Meditation,” in The Darkness Around Us Is Deep: Selected Poems of William Stafford, ed. Robert Bly (New York: HarperCollins, 1993), p. 123.Google Scholar
- 2.William Stafford, “Being a Person,” in Even in Quiet Places: Poems by William Stafford (Lewiston, ID.: Confluence Press, 1996), p. 89.Google Scholar