Ask Me By William Stafford Essay

788 Words Jun 13th, 2016 4 Pages
“Ask Me” by William Stafford is a contemporary poem that compares the author’s life to a river. The reader is instilled with a strong sense of nostalgia, placidity, and introspection as Stafford reflects on his past and the meaning of his actions and life. The theme of this piece is life and its relative pace, similar to a river which is used as an ongoing metaphor Stafford introduces himself early on because this work is a conversation between the author and the reader. In the first stanza, Stafford repeatedly implores the reader to “ask me” (1, 2, 6) about his past and his thoughts. This repetition causes a slight uneasiness in the reader as Stafford is insisting the reader to participate. The first line, “Some time when the river is ice ask me” (1), gives the sense that the author needs time to cool down before he is willing and ready to discuss his mistakes and begin his self-analysis. The first stanza is introspective as Stafford reflects on whether or not he is defined by his actions: “Ask me whether / what I have done is my life” (2-3). This line is determining the relationship between being and doing and if these two actions is mutually exclusive. Then Stafford goes on to examine the cause others might have had on his life and queries if there was any effect on his course. And some have tried to help Or to hurt: ask me what difference Their strongest love or hate has made. (5-7)
Stafford is indicating that any external influence he was exposed to had a…

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