A collection of writings by America's poet laureate includes his essays on Eagle Pond Farm, including his observations on rural life in New Hampshire, the poem "Daylilies on the Hill," and several previously uncollected pieces.
A contemplative selection of twelve short stories from the celebrated author Donald Hall, Willow Temple focuses on the effects of divorce, adultery, and neglect. Hall's stories are reminiscent of those of Alice Munro and William Maxwell in their mastery of form and their ability to trace the emotional fault lines connecting generations. "From Willow Temple" is the indelible story of a child's witness of her mother's adultery and the loss that underlies it. Three stories present David Bardo at crucial junctures of his life, beginning as a child drawn to his parents' "cozy adult coven of drunks" and growing into a young man whose intense first affair undergirds a lifelong taste for ardor and betrayal. In this superbly perceptive collection, Hall gives memorable accounts of the passionate weight of lives.
A candid memoir of love, art, and grief from a celebrated man of letters, United States poet laureate Donald Hall In an intimate record of his twenty-three-year marriage to poet Jane Kenyon, Donald Hall recounts the rich pleasures and the unforeseen trials of their shared life. The couple made a home at their New England farmhouse, where they rejoiced in rituals of writing, gardening, caring for pets, and connecting with their rural community through friends and church. The Best Day the Worst Day presents a portrait of the inner moods of "the best marriage I know about," as Hall has written, against the stark medical emergency of Jane's leukemia, which ended her life in fifteen months. Between recollections of better times, Hall shares with readers the daily ordeal of Jane's dying through heartbreaking but ultimately inspiring storytelling.
From a former Poet Laureate, a new collection of essays delivering a gloriously unexpected view from the vantage point of very old age Donald Hall has lived a remarkable life of letters, a career capped by a National Medal of the Arts, awarded by the president. Now, in the “unknown, unanticipated galaxy” of very old age, he is writing searching essays that startle, move, and delight. In the transgressive and horrifyingly funny “No Smoking,” he looks back over his lifetime, and several of his ancestors’ lifetimes, of smoking unfiltered cigarettes, packs of them every day. Hall paints his past: “Decades followed each other — thirty was terrifying, forty I never noticed because I was drunk, fifty was best with a total change of life, sixty extended the bliss of fifty . . .” And, poignantly, often joyfully, he limns his present: “When I turned eighty and rubbed testosterone on my chest, my beard roared like a lion and gained four inches.” Most memorably, Hall writes about his enduring love affair with his ancestral Eagle Pond Farm and with the writing life that sustains him, every day: “Yesterday my first nap was at 9:30 a.m., but when I awoke I wrote again.”
Donald Hall draws on his own childhood memories and gives himself the thing he most wanted but didn't get as a boy: a Christmas at Eagle Pond. It’s the Christmas season of 1940, and twelve-year-old Donnie takes the train to visit his grandparents' place in rural New Hampshire. Once there, he quickly settles into the farm’s routines. In the barn, Gramp milks the cows and entertains his grandson by speaking rhymed pieces, while Donnie’s eyes are drawn to an empty stall that houses a graceful, cobwebby sleigh. Now Model A's speed over the wintry roads, which must be plowed, and the beautiful sleigh has become obsolete. When the church pageant is over, the gifts are exchanged, and the remains of the Christmas feast put away, the air becomes heavy with fine snowflakes—the kind that fall at the start of a big storm—and everyone wonders, how will Donnie get back to his parents on time?
In these tender essays, Hall shares his memories and thoughts on growing up in New Hampshire on his grandparent's dairy farm, of the seasons, and of his connection to the land, his family, and his coming home.
Donald Hall’s remarkable life in poetry — a career capped by his appointment as U.S. poet laureate in 2006 — comes alive in this richly detailed, self-revealing memoir. Hall’s invaluable record of the making of a poet begins with his childhood in Depression-era suburban Connecticut, where he first realized poetry was “secret, dangerous, wicked, and delicious,” and ends with what he calls “the planet of antiquity,” a time of life dramatically punctuated by his appointment as poet laureate of the United States. Hall writes eloquently of the poetry and books that moved and formed him as a child and young man, and of adolescent efforts at poetry writing — an endeavor he wryly d...
Distinguished poet Donald Hall reflects on the meaning of work, solitude, and love "The best new book I have read this year, of extraordinary nobility and wisdom. It will remain with me always."—Louis Begley, The New York Times "A sustained meditation on work as the key to personal happiness. . . . Life Work reads most of all like a first-person psychological novel with a poet named Donald Hall as its protagonist. . . . Hall's particular talents ultimately [are] for the memoir, a genre in which he has few living equals. In his hands the memoir is only partially an autobiographical genre. He pours both his full critical intelligence and poetic sensibility into the form."—Dana Gioia, Los A...
One of America's finest poets joins forces with one of baseball's most outrageous pitchers to paint a revealing portrait of our national game. Donald Hall's forceful, yet elegant, prose brings together all the elements of Dock Ellis's story into a seamless whole. The two of them, the pitcher and the poet, give us remarkable insight into the customs and culture of this closed clannish world. Dock's keen vision, filtered through Hall's extraordinary voice, shows us the hardships and problems of the thinking athlete in an unthinking world.