Lew Welch

(August 16, 1926 — May 23, 1971 / Phoenix, Arizona)

I Saw Myself


I saw myself
a ring of bone
in the clear stream
of all of it

and vowed
always to be open to it
that all of it
might flow through

and then heard
"ring of bone" where
ring is what a

bell does

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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  • Rookie S. A. S. (1/13/2009 8:13:00 AM)

    I Saw Myself as a title also makes me think of Song of Myself.
    Gather in that ring of bone. You could be anywhere. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Eric Paul Shaffer (6/28/2005 1:03:00 PM)

    To get the background on this poem, check out Lew's astonishing Letters (Volume 1) from Grey Fox Press. At the time, Welch had found a cabin and isolated himself from friends and family in order to come home to the planet. All of the Hermit Poems, of which this is the culmination, are amazing feats of simplicity and resonance. I highly recommend you read them all in Ring of Bone, his collected poems. (Report) Reply

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