Feelings: Grammatical Person and Life Essay

Submitted By kmallen157
Words: 508
Pages: 3

Kaitlyn Allen
Mrs. Honeycutt
ENG 113-OW
March 14, 2013
William Stafford’s “Ask Me” is a short poem with much meaning found within its 14 lines. Spread over two verses, William Stafford reflects on his life in in the poem using a casual yet thought-provoking tone. The poem is written in the future-tense, from the first person perspective of "I". Stafford reaches out to readers in the first line with the words “ask me”. He writes of a future time when the “river is ice”. The future is when questions will be asked of him. The reader is kept engaged as “ask me” is repeated two more times within the first stanza. When the references to “you” and “we” are used in the second verse, reader are likely engaged and enticed to keep reading the poem. While the poem speaks of the future when Stafford will be asked questions, the poet explains that only in the future will he reflect on his past. He writes, “ask me / mistakes I have made.” Regret is implied, as is his consciousness of his past errors. Perhaps he has not accomplished all that he wanted to at this point in his life. The line is followed with “Ask me whether what I have done is my life.” Stafford points out that a person’s worth is not defined by accomplishments such as work or by other physical actions. Personal traits that are not tangible, such as kindness, are more valuable in life. In the poem “Ask Me”, Stafford then describes his relationships with other people. He writes, “…some have tried to help or to hurt”. Stafford implies that people are changed by the individuals that surround them. Not all relationships are positive ones; some people may have intentions to hurt other people. Another analysis of the line is that people are not alone in life; their relationships with people alter them with Stafford refers to a river throughout the poem. The descriptions of the river include, “when the river is ice”, “silent river”,