David Ray

Sam’s Book

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When Sam Ray was killed at nineteen in an accident, his father began writing poetry dedicated to his memory. Sam’s Book is a collection of these elegies and other poems written during Sam’s lifetime. “How should I mourn?” David Ray asks. By recalling poignant events from the past he transcends his grief. He remembers Sam’s first bath, a “holy/Rite”; tying the shoelaces of the “little man”; traveling to Greece, where Sam is “the first…/to see the holy moon.” With painful wit and regret he summons up the image of his son’s blue Toyota, fastidiously transformed by Sam and his girlfriend into a “love nest.” Ray muses on what he taught Sam and what Sam taught him. Originally published in 1987, Sam’s Book won the 1988 Maurice English Poetry Award.
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48 printed pages
Original publication
2012

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