Excerpt from

Gazing Down the Fairway, I Think of Po Chu-i

to Gary Lemons

I've thought of you often enough, old friend,
on the rolling fairways of Chevy Chase
during all those long years you didn't play.
Now old and gray, unable to walk the course,
I stand behind you again, recalling
the ancient Chinese sages who checked my
swing and kept my score card the first ten years
I played. Golf is Zen. Throw the score card out
or keep it like a flower. Mulligans
are nourishment when forgiveness is required.

Sam Hamill at The Academy of American Poets

Sam Hamill at Poetry Foundation


Sam Hamill interviewed by The Progressive
Each of us as poets, as decent suffering human beings, has to find a way to run our lives that is compassionate toward one another and toward our environment. Because if we don't, we are going to be committing suicide at a very large level. We're certainly not perfect, and we're not probably even better than anybody else, except that perhaps we are given to certain kinds of contemplation that provide a valuable balance to the knee-jerk reactionary behavior of most of our newspapers and political leaders. Poets are great doubters.

What poetry does above all else is develop sensibility. And that's what makes poetry so dangerous. That's why poetry is so good at undermining governments and so bad at building them. There's nothing harder to organize than a group of poets.

"What the Water Knows."