- Publisher: Graywolf Press; Minneapolis, MN
- Editor: Fred Marchant
- Available in: Hardback
- ISBN: 555-4567-8892
- Published: April 1, 2008
Edited with an introduction by Fred Marchant
I stand and dream another world instead,” wrote William Stafford in 1942. The other world he dreamed of was one of peace and freedom. Twenty-eight years old and a conscientious objector during World War II, he was assigned under penalty of law to work in camps, an internal exile within his own country. In this remarkable collection of poems, nearly all of them never before published, the first decade of Stafford’s writing life is for the first time made available to readers.
Edited by poet Fred Marchant, himself one of the first Marine officers honorably discharged as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, Another World Instead tells the story of a committed pacifist living in a time of war and a writer beginning a major life in American poetry.
William Stafford’s quiet presence in the landscape of American poetry in my lifetime has been a kind of continuing reassurance whose value always seemed to me beyond question. . . . I think his work as a whole will go on surprising us, growing as we recognize it, bearing witness in plain language to the holiness of the heart’s affections which he seemed never to doubt. A treasure that he has left us.
—W. S. Merwin
For Poems—’42 and ’43
I carry pieces of my world before the crowd.
When I drop them everyone hears.
I put them together, but they are not the same.
I take them back. I pick them up and take them home.
All I have—everything I have—are the wonderful shine of two years,
And pieces of a different world.
Los Prietos, California
May 5, 1944
Cover photograph by William Stafford, used by Courtesy of the Estate of William Stafford.
William Stafford was a conscientious objector during World War II. He entered Civilian Public Service in 1942 and remained in CPS alternative service through January 1946. This photograph is of the Belden CPS camp in the northern California wilderness, on the Feather River, Plumas National Forrest. Photo taken during the winter of 1944-45 when Stafford lived in these cabins and worked in the mountain forests nearby.