Raymond Carver, “Hamid Ramouz (1818-1906)”


This morning I began a poem on Hamid Ramouz –
soldier, scholar, desert explorer –
who died by his own hand, gunshot, at eighty-eight.

I had tried to read the dictionary entry on that curious man
to my son – we were after something on Raleigh –
but he was impatient, and rightly so.

It happened months ago, the boy is with his mother now,
but I remembered the name: Ramouz –
and a poem began to take shape.

All morning I sat at the table,
hands moving back and forth over limitless waste,
as I tried to recall that strange life.

Gift Horse?
Ted Hughes, “Christmas Card”

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