Poem introduction

I remember when I wrote this poem it seemed to me I was having a hard time loving completely and accepting the love of others. And I was trying to think about that. And the first line comes from something my father always said to me when I was young and I said it once to my son. And of course my father, he experienced political imprisonment and torture - he worked with Mao Tse-tung and he was very close to him and they had a falling out and Mao tried to kill him and my father's father even tried to kill him and so my father escaped from prison and we fled to Indonesia and we came to this country when I was very young. And this country at the time was at war with an Asian country - this was, you know, in the Sixties - so a lot of the animosity and the hostility and aggression that the war inspired was being perpetrated on us. And so my experience initially of coming to this country was having a lot of violence directed at my physical being.

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Over the years I’ve become increasingly interested in the lyrical nature of poetry. I find that the more I’ve taken in...

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