Thay's Poetry / New Hamlet

We would like to invite you to visit New Hamlet through this video, and enjoy an excerpt of the poem “New Hamlet”.

Thay (Thich Nhat Hanh) wrote this poem to the workers of the School of Youth for Social Service during Vietnam War at 1960s. He inspired his students to keep the fire of serving people, the fire of practicing mindfulness even in difficul times.

New Hamlet

By Thich Nhat Hanh

“This morning I have no matches,

and my fireplace is cold

like a damp, Autumn day.

My painting is half-finished.

I go to a neighbor to ask for some fire.

(Do you remember as little boys,

we used to do this?)

You ask me what I will do if our neighbor has no fire left.

I answer, “We’ll go singing together,”

I remember what Mother told me,

and we’ll ask you to come along to the new hamlet

Please don’t forget to sing.

I am sure someone in our hamlet still has fire.

I ask all of you

to hold up your hands

and tell me the truth.

“Do you believe, as I do,

that someone in our hamlet

is keeping the fire alive?”.


Your boat continues to come.

Even as the mist is falling,

there is no need to worry,

because you know

the love today

is enough

to provide warmth for tomorrow.


There is a good fire in my home now.

Please come for a visit

For many thousands of years,

someone has tried to build a bridge to connect the two sides.

My painting has just been completed.

The colors are still fresh.

We want to show it to you.

The fire crackles joyfully.

We will bring in a few more candles.”

We hope this video helps to remind you of the peace and joy that you’ve touched in your practice. And how about your fire? Is there a warm fire in your home?

Welcome to New Hamlet

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What is Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

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