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by Sam McKay

To Martha

Whose encouragement and patience with the author played a very large part in the production of this book.


Sam McKay is a painter of portraits, revealing to us the faces of people, of landscapes of the land and the mind, and of a time in which he and many of us have lived.

Several things stand out in McKay’s poems - a strong religious faith, a reverence for nature and a higher being, a caring and compassion for humanity, and a talent for story-telling, stories told with wit and humor.

In a sense, all writing is story-telling, and the long view of human history and the human condition shows that the art of story-telling has been with us for a long time. They are on a different level than traditional forms, but these poems by Sam McKay also tell us stories of that human condition which is at the core of our concerns.

This collection of poetry represents most of the major forms in our literary heritage - the highly structured poems of rhyme and meter, the moving and powerful free verse which allows the poet to explore strong feelings and emotions in narratives, and finely honed short lyrics.

In addition, McKay offers such forms as the couplet, quatrains, haiku, sonnets, and even the sestina. His talents are wide-ranging.

What is evident throughout this collection is the humor, and often sharp wit, which Sam McKay reveals in his poetry. It is such a pleasure to read and we commend it to you.

Sam Ragan, Poet Laureate of North Carolina

Biography of Sam McKay  |  Section I  |  Section II  |  Section III

Footnote: This book of poems is published here by the kind permission of the Poet's son, Bill McKay. The book was privately published in 1992.

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