Barbara Hamby

(1952 / New Orleans)

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Barbara Hamby (born 1952) is an American poet, fiction writer, editor, and critic.
She was born in New Orleans and raised in Hawaii. Her poems have been printed in numerous publications and her first book of poetry, Delirium (1995), received literary recognition. She lives with her husband and fellow poet David Kirby in Tallahassee, Florida, where she is a writer-in-residence in the Creative ... more »

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Best Poem of Barbara Hamby

Letter to a Lost Friend

There must be a Russian word to describe what has happened
between us, like ostyt, which can be used
for a cup of  tea that is too hot, but after you walk to the next room,
and return, it is too cool; or perekhotet,
which is to want something so much over months
and even years that when you get it, you have lost
the desire. Pushkin said, when he saw his portrait by Kiprensky,
"It is like looking into a mirror, but one that flatters me."
What is the word for someone who looks into her friend's face
...

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