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An interview with Sam Hamill in a previous issue

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Feature of Sam Hamill’s Yellow River translations from the Chinese in a previous issue

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Poetry by Sam Hamill in a previous issue

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Contributor Notes




Sam Hamill

Sam Hamill









Sam Hamill
                              Salutation

 

 

                                           To Burton Watson

 

                    So very much learned

                    from the feet of a master—

                    the fall of the Ch’in,

                    the rise of the T’ang and Sung,

                    tales from Masters Chuang and K’ung—

 

                    the long dusty roads

                    of the various poets

                    and monks, and sutras

                    chanted, the sake cups filled

                    with kinship and harmonies,

 

                    hardships remembered.

                    It is December, the moon

                    full, snow turned to ice

                    on the frozen ground. I raise

                    a cup of good Nihonshu

 

                    to a master, a

                    lifetime’s companionship in

                    wandering borders.

                    Through hard times and good, decade

                    by decade, when my heart yearned

 

                    for good company,

                    I always knew where to turn.

                    Tonight, just a cup

                    below Li Po’s cold clear moon—

                    because it is impossible

 

                    to drink alone.