Down in my heart

by William Stafford

Other authorsKim Stafford (Introduction)
Paperback, 1998





Corvallis : Oregon State University Press, c1998.


From 1942 to 1945, William Stafford was interned in camps for conscientious objectors for his refusal to be inducted into the U.S. Army. Stafford's memoir of these years offers a rich glimpse into a little-known aspect of World War II and a fascinating look at the formative years of a major American poet.

User reviews

LibraryThing member pitjrw
One of the things I have always admired about Bill Stafford is the gentle way he doesn't mince words. I found this appropriate in his reminiscences of a few episodes from his experience as CO during WWII. This book left a profound impression upon me (in conjunction with previous readings of
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Stafford's poetry). I am reading it during that dark night of the soul that is January 2021. How can you oppose violence and hatred effectively while yourself avoiding the psychology and emotion that is fueling them? How big can community truly be? Can even a small community that shares ultimate goals and outlooks still include those with elemental differences on the roots of those goals or the tactics best used to further them? Stafford puts human faces into these equations while delineating an environment that is in turn idyllic and horrific. For those who have read Stafford's poetry it will be no surprise that the writing is beautiful and simple. The descriptions of the mountains of Northern CA and fire fighting there are wonderful. They are of a piece with the philosophical and political quest that brought the author there.
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