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Destination Zero: Poems 1970-1995
     

Destination Zero: Poems 1970-1995

by Sam Hamill
 

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Sam Hamill is the author of over thirty books of poetry, essays and translations of poetry from classical Chinese to Ancient Greek.

“Sam Hamill’s poems have been part of my indispensable reading for many years. Direct, earthy, yet intelligent and sensitive, they are in the best tradition of the American West, I think, and at the same time in a

Overview

Sam Hamill is the author of over thirty books of poetry, essays and translations of poetry from classical Chinese to Ancient Greek.

“Sam Hamill’s poems have been part of my indispensable reading for many years. Direct, earthy, yet intelligent and sensitive, they are in the best tradition of the American West, I think, and at the same time in a beautifully original voice with touches of Oriental subtlety. Very highly recommended.”—Hayden Carruth

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As founding editor of Copper Canyon Press, Hamill has encouraged a generation of young American poets. But his own spare, haunting works are mostly out of print and overlooked, a state this expansive collection should remedy. The works here, featuring a plain-spoken English that is heavily influenced by his studies and translations of Japanese and Chinese poetry, generally consider aging (``this slow, insistent tolling/ of our flesh'') and death (``It is beautiful and sad/ the way we,/ dying/ make monuments of the dead''). Arranged in roughly chronological order, the poems chart Hamill's development from early autobiographical pieces that examine his history and its particular contexts (``Dead Letter'' and ``Man in the Landscape'') to later, longer works (``Requiem'' and ``Blue Monody'') that exhibit his engagement with Eastern thought and poetry and explore an interior terrain. Taken together, Hamill's depiction of his travels and loves, his fear of death and love of life become one long argument that, as he notes, ``The untouchable touches us./ What is beautiful alters.'' (Oct.)
Elizabeth Millard
The founding editor of Copper Canyon Press is famous for that and for his translations of classical Chinese, Japanese, Greek, and Latin poetry. But he writes good, solid original poetry full of graceful images and quiet meaning, too. This large, retrospective collection incorporating recent revisions is arranged chronologically, letting us see Hamill slowly honing his craft, making his work as pure as possible. He perhaps unwittingly refers to that work when he says of the natural world, "Always, the world we invent or build / around us remains dark. But there is always / a door or window, and, beyond it, light." Although he walks through darkness, he also creates the illumination to guide us by means of his hopefulness, subtlety, and strength. In his world, you can always ease into a "tattered chair in trembling light as the sunset / slides into a shadow / ghosting the dark Pacific."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781877727559
Publisher:
White Pine Press
Publication date:
09/01/1995
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
235
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

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