Hello readers! Every week, BOA's staff and interns share one of our favorite poems from our over 300 collections of poetry. This week's poem is from Gratitude by poet, translator, and publisher Sam Hamill. Sam passed away earlier this year at his home in Anacortes, WA. He was 74.
Salutation, Late Autumn, 1991
It is late afternoon, the beginning
of the darkest month of the year, evening
trembling in the shadows. I stroke the fire,
heat a small pot of sake, and open
for the first time Bashō's
Narrow Road to the Interior fresh
from the printer.
The world remains unchanged:
the moon emerges from a bank of clouds,
shining wetly through the trees. Now I read
the words I fashioned from the Japanese
of a friend three hundred years my senior:
And drink, embracing his same solitude.
Today the world's good. I raise a cup:
what I love most, I have given away.
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