Saskia Hamilton, “This Hour”
From "Thaon," a poem in Corridor by Saskia Hamilton, reviewed at The Rumpus by Lisa Williams.
Saskia Hamilton is a well-known poet as well as an Associate Professor of English here at Barnard College.
And Ben Folds is in love with her.
Credit goes to my friend Flo for sharing this revelation with me.
Saskia Hamilton [Ben Folds]
I've only ever seen her name on the spine but that's enough. I want to make her mine! Never heard her voice, never seen her smile, but I'm in love with Saskia Hamilton! Well, shes a poet just like I want to be! But her passport alone is great poetry, and I'm in love with saskia Hamilton! Shes got more assonance than she knows what to do with. I am in love with Saskia Hamilton. She's got two sibilants no bilabial plosivs. Saskia Hamilton, Saskia Hamilton, yeah! Right! Saskia Hamilton, Saskia Hamilton! Saskia Saskia Saskia Saskia! Already got a girl, but she sounds real bad. I am in love with Saskia Hamilton. She's got alliterations and her surname's Dag. Oh! Saskia Hamilton! No hard consonents in my girl Saskia! Every single syllable sounds like Shakespeare! And I'm in love with Saskia! Gonna live with her and it will be harmonious! How could it not be when she's that euphonious? I'm gonna marry her and it'll be idyllic! And my teacher just told me she's dactylic! Saskia Hamilton, Saskia Hamilton! Yeah! Right! Saskia Hamilton, Saskia Hamilton! Saskia Saskia Saskia Saskia! (Saskia! Saskia Saskia Saskia Saskia! Hamilton!!!)
I slept before a wall of books and they calmed everything in the room, even their contents, even me, woken by the cold and thrill, and still they said, like the Dutch verb for falling silent that English has no accommodation for in the attics and rafters of its intimacies. By Saskia Hamilton.
In The Corridor by Saskia Hamilton I passed through, I should have paused, there were a hundred doors. One opened. In there, someone whose name is not yet known to me lived out his middle years in simple terms, two chairs, one place laid for early breakfast, one plate with dry toast and butter softening. There his mind raced through writings he had memorized long ago while he tried to get hold of himself. Once in his youth he had studied with love in the corners of old paintings matrices of fields and towns, passages intricate and particular, wheat, columns, figures and ground, classically proportioned in lines that were meant to meet, eventually, at vanishing point. They continued, nevertheless; they troubled the eye. He collected sets of books printed in the nineteenth century, unyielding pages, memoirs of the poets, engravings of rurified private subjects in times of public sector unhappiness, frescoes of human oddity in gatefold printing. Why does it continue to chasten me, he says to no one. It does. It is a painful mistaking, this setting something down, saying aloud, “it is nothing yet” when he’d meant, not anything— but then nothing peered through the keyhole, nothing took possession. Snow on the roofs, snow in traces on the ground, passersby with wet trouser-cuffs looking to the pavement as the hill rises, light gathering in the river and gradually spreading.
I slept before a wall of books and they calmed everything in the room, even their contents, even me, woken by the cold and thrill, and still they said, like the Dutch verb for falling silent that English has no accommodation for in the attics and rafters of its intimacies.
— Saskia Hamilton