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About this poet

Saskia Hamilton was born in Washington, D.C., in 1967, and earned a BA from Kenyon College and an MA from New York University.

She is the author of Corridor (Graywolf Press, 2014), Divide These (Graywolf Press, 2005), and As for Dream (2001). She is also the editor of The Letters of Robert Lowell (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005) and the coeditor of Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell (2008).

In a review of Divide These, Raymond McDaniel wrote in The Boston Review: "Hamilton’s writing has been called spare and delicate, but neither of these quite gets at the effect of her poems, which are delicate only in the way a suspension bridge is: neither is marked by unnecessary ornament or fragility, and it would be a mistake to regard either as anything other than rigorously tough."

Hamilton is the recipient of fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has worked for the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. and the Lannan Foundation in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She currently teaches at Barnard College in New York.


No one to hear but 
Records for the broken player.
No reason for order but order 
persists, from breakfast to bath 
to work, rain falling at one speed,
the windows darkening and blurring,
accident beating against belief.
A loud engine, which is one way to say 
one thing. The floors swept daily, 
though it takes at least one hour for the first,
one for the last.  In the pages of a book,
quick studies of gesture,
tents of hands.

Copyright © 2005 by Saskia Hamilton. From Divide These. Used with permission of Graywolf Press.

Copyright © 2005 by Saskia Hamilton. From Divide These. Used with permission of Graywolf Press.

Saskia Hamilton

Saskia Hamilton

Saskia Hamilton is author of Corridor (Graywolf Press, 2014), Divide These (Graywolf Press, 2005), and As for Dream (2001).

by this poet


This hour, while a child sleeps, before he wakes
and those arcadian hours we make together—
is it a continued arch, vaulted, open at both ends, is it
a bending?—recommence. Yes, a bending.
Light before you’d call it light bluing the sky.
The old city below, a fidget toy’s
string of



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The song itself had hinges. The clasp on the eighteenth-century Bible
had hinges, which creaked; when you released the catch, 
the book would sigh and expand.

The song was of two wholes joined by hinges, 
and I was worried about the joining, the spaces in between 
the joints, the