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Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Sam Hamill - Almost Respectable

I'm currently reading a variety of poetry and poetry related works. One is a small book of poetry by Sam Hamill titled Dumb Luck. I was fascinated by the title poem from the book. It provides an intimate view of the poets life, minus I'm sure a lot of captivating details. Nevertheless, it adds enough color to the canvas to show a young boy with a troubled home life who carved out his own path to what as a grown man; he considers a fortuitous life.

I'm struck by his building blocks- "poverty, poetry, and love." Knowing that of all the writing genres, poetry in perhaps the weakest link to economic success. Hamill clearly has achieved a “respectable” level among contemporary poets. Something he appears to find both "astonishing" and even "embarrassing" if you consider his poem, Praise a Fool and Make Him Useful to be a self evaluation of his some forty years invested in poetry.

I suspect that a prime factor in Hamill's successful evolution from an uneasy youth to an adult who appears at peace with himself can be found in his ability to shake the dust from his past. Move on. Embrace the present and perhaps the future. Poetry has become a mainstay for him and undoubtedly to Sam Hamill, It is highly relevant today.
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