Off A Side Road Near Staunton

By Stanley Plumly b. 1939 Stanley Plumly
Some nothing afternoon, no one anywhere,
an early autumn stillness in the air,
the kind of empty day you fill by taking in
the full size of the valley and its layers leading
slowly to the Blue Ridge, the quality of country,
if you stand here long enough, you could stay
for, step into, the way a landscape, even on a wall,
pulls you in, one field at a time, pasture and fall
meadow, high above the harvest, perfect
to the tree line, then spirit clouds and intermittent
sunlit smoky rain riding the tops of the mountains,
though you could walk until it’s dark and not reach those rains—
you could walk the rest of the day into the picture
and not know why, at any given moment, you’re there.

Reprinted from Old Heart, by Stanley Plumly. Copyright ©2007 by Stanley Plumly. Used by permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

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Poet Stanley Plumly b. 1939

 Stanley  Plumly

Biography

PLUMLY, Stanley (1939– ), was born in Barnesville, Ohio, and grew up in the lumber and farming regions of Virginia and Ohio. His father was a lumberjack and welder. He was educated at Wilmington College, a Quaker school in Ohio, and Ohio University. In 1985 he married the poet Deborah Digges. He is a professor of English at the University of Maryland. His first collection, In the Outer Dark (Baton Rouge, La., 1970), won the . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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