July 9, 2012

Sam Hamill

ON BEING INVITED TO SUBMIT POEMS “WRITTEN IN THE MANNER OF THE ANCIENT CHINESE MOUNTAIN RECLUSE POETS”

From my windows on this hill,
Fidalgo Bay, green islands, pale blue sky
and, far off, Koma Kulshan, crowned
with icy snow—first and only words
I know in the Lummi tongue.

Thirty-five years in the woods,
watching the tree-trunks thicken.
And now this view, this vision.

from Rattle #36, Winter 2011
Tribute to Buddhist Poets

[download audio]

__________

Sam Hamill: “I grew up on a ranch in Utah, a farm in Utah, and my old man, my adopted father, loved poetry. And he would sometimes recite poetry while he worked. And he would explain to me, the rhythm of the work would help you decide what poem to sort of say. The way you sometimes hum or sing when you work—well, he recited poetry that way, and I think that was what first turned me on to poetry.” (website)

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