Stafford's poems provide the minds and hearts of readers with soul-nurturing sustenance, and their simple words are a pleasure to the ear.

The winner of the 1962 National Book Award notes that the poems are "organically grown" and each one is a "miracle that has been invited to happen."


The book opens with a poem outlining his journaling process: "More important than what was recorded, these evenings deepened my life. That scribbled wall became where everything recognized itself and passed into meaning."

The last chapter of poems, "The Big Picture", gives many simple profiles of Oregon locations such as the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. Several of the poems dwell lovingly on the wonders of the night sky.