Nicholas Samaras
Survivors of the Moving Earth

1997. 285 pp. ISBN-13 978-3-7052-0101-9; ISBN-10 3-7052-0101-8
£10.00 (+ 2.00 p&p), €10.00 (+ 2.00 p&p), US$12.00 (+ 3.50 p&p)

Nicholas Samaras' poems are unique in their orientation and display a linguistic sense that should earn him a wide and discriminating audience. The most engaging quality of his metaphysical internationalism, the note of the eternal exile who yet finds remarkable and life-enhancing particularities in the countries through which he passes ... And yet he isvery much in language, an early master of strange, honest, and astonishing metaphor, and is a man of feeling, ofvery strong, almost superhumanly strong, emotion, but in this fact very human, too, as he calls us to follow, to feelmore, to be more, to encompass and revitalize the earth by means of words and sensibility, no matter where thesoul happens to find itself.

James Dickey

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Table of Contents

Excerpts from Survivors of the Moving Earth

Forged Documents

This is the singular truth: Everything
about me is a lie.
These clothes. This facial expression.
You must look twice.
And not stop looking.
There is no person
but the event of a person.
My only identification is where
I am always becoming someone else,
the only reincarnation lying in this one life
we each day wake to.
What I sign my name to now
I am compelled to disclaim tomorrow.
I have never gone to work
in clothes that were mine.
There is a person I have never
and always been.
You only call what you think my name is.
I have learned this:
We are our truest selves in solitude,
can only be ourselves in solitude.
The pose is fleeting.
I am never the person in the photograph.


Whore for nostalgia, see
how surf strides in to land removed
from home. This strange side of moon, this Gaelic sea.
I am alone. The coast-road is grooved
by furrowed crags cutting the lea.

Hungry for anything familiar, I walk the night, pacing
the crescent moon to shreds; it pours shards
of frozen silver to shiver on black water. Hasten!
The air is fluent with animal sounds, hard
crow and wolf-eyes that spark sulfur, chasten

me for pang of home-sights that new stars will not quell.
My nostrils flare to mark how strange footpaths and noises spur
me back to cottage-light, the flutings of despair repelled.
First night to newness, found by sea-spray wistful, unsure
with need for backyard woodscent and familar father-smell.

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