Monday, November 23, 2009

Michele Hewitson Interview: Sam Hunt
By Michele Hewitson
New Zealand Herald, Saturday Nov 21, 2009
Photo of Sam Hunt - Brett Phibbs

Sam Hunt writes in his new book, Backroads, that even as an 8-year-old boy, "I always imagined I would live as a poet".
When we arrive at his house, on the edge of the Kaipara Harbour, the poet is standing barefoot, in the wind, brandishing, triumphantly, a single sock. Life as a poet, at the age of ... "69!" He isn't 69. "I'm not either! I just thought: 'What would it be like to be 69?' Ha, ha, ha. I'm the new 69. I was 63, the last time I fronted up to a calendar."

I thought he might have genuinely forgotten. "No." He started talking again and spilled his wine. "I'm dribbling and I'm only, what am I? 69! And I just wet my pants." I mopped up. "Thank you." We have to look after the elderly. He clapped his hands, with glee, and said, "That's right. We tend to get forgetful and fidgety. So where was I?"
The romantic notion of living as a poet. "I don't know what I meant. Well, yes, I did, I had a good idea, actually. I shouldn't be dismissive of that. I had a romantic notion." The domestic life of the poet at 63. The sock belongs to Alf, his 12-year-old son, who lives with him during the week.

The poet is delighted to have found it because, as he points out, you never find a missing sock.

I'd imagine that the day-to-day life of the poet is not all that romantic. "I think it is. If you wrote a poem. Everything is right, when you write a poem." Writing a poem makes him "more than happy. When it's a good poem. I wrote one yesterday ... Can I read you my new poem?"
To read the full review link to the NZ Herald online.

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