The Infinite Moment: Poems from Ancient Greek

Front Cover
Sam Hamill
New Directions Publishing, 1992 - Poetry - 108 pages
The Infinite Moment is a personal selection made by a poet known for his elegant translations from several languages, Chinese, Japanese, Estonian, Latin, and now ancient Greek. Drawing from the classic Lyra Graeca and The Greek Anthology, Sam Hamill has made new, American translations of poems in the thousand-year tradition that begins with Sappho, Alcaeus, and Anakreon in the 6th century C.E. The love poems, epigrams, and sly invective of over forty poets remind us once again of the deep wellspring of ancient Greece that nourished the roots of so many cultures.The Greek lyric poem was made to be performed with musical accompaniment, but like its modern descendent it seeks to articulate the experience of insight attained in the infinity of the moment. Says Hamill: The fundamental experiences of humanity remain simultaneously universal and particular. The tears of Lymnos on the banks of the Akeron are the same tears Hitomaro shed a thousand years later on the shores of the Omi Sea." "
 

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About the author (1992)

Sam Hamill was raised on a farm in Utah and endured an early life of violence, drug abuse, and jail time. He was a teenage heroin addict when he discovered poetry. He studied under poet Kenneth Rexroth at the University of California, Santa Barbara. While a student, Hamill won a $500 award for producing the best university literary magazine in the country. With that money he co-founded the all-poetry Copper Canyon Press with Bill O'Daly and Tree Swenson. Hamill was editor for the press from 1972 until 2004. Hamill was a poet and translator. His collections of poetry included Destination Zero: Poems 1970-1995, Gratitude, Dumb Luck, Almost Paradise: New and Selected Poems and Translations, Measured by Stone, and Habitation: Collected Poems. His translated works include Narrow Road to the Interior: And Other Writings by Matsuo Basho, The Poetry of Zen, and The Essential Chuang Tzu. He won two Washington Governor's Arts Awards, the Stanley Lindberg Lifetime Achievement Award for Editing, and the Washington Poets Association Lifetime Achievement Award. He died on April 14, 2018 at the age of 74.

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