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.