[I Saw Myself]

By Lew Welch 1926–1971 Lew Welch
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

Lew Welch, “[I Saw Myself]” from Ring of Bone: Collected Poems of Lew Welch. Copyright © 2012 by Lew Welch. Reprinted by permission of City Lights Books.

Source: Ring of Bone: Collected Poems of Lew Welch (City Lights Books, 2012)

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Poet Lew Welch 1926–1971

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

SCHOOL / PERIOD Beat

Subjects Living, The Body, The Mind, Religion, The Spiritual

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Biography

Poet Lewis Barrett Welch was born in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1926. After his parents divorced, he moved with his mother and sister to a series of California towns. After high school, he served briefly in the Air Force. Welch was educated at Stockton Junior College, Reed College (where he earned a BA), and the University of Chicago. At Reed, he roomed with poets Gary Snyder and Philip Whalen, with whom he formed lifelong . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Body, The Mind, Religion, The Spiritual

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

SCHOOL / PERIOD Beat

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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