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The first full-length volume of poems in a decade by the former poet laureate of the United StatesIn The Back Chamber, Donald Hall illuminates the evocative, iconic objects of deep memory--a cowbell, a white stone perfectly round, a three-legged milking stool--that serve to foreground the rich meditations on time and mortality that run through his remarkable new collection. While Hall's devoted readers will recognize many of his long-standing preoccupations--baseball, the family farm, love, sex, and friendship--what will strike them as new is the fierce, pitiless poignancy he reveals as his own life's end comes into view. The Back Chamber is far from being death-haunted, but rather is lively, irreverent, erotic, hilarious, ironic, and sly--full of the life-affirming energy that has made Donald Hall one of America's most popular and enduring poets.
An installment of a yearly anthology of poems.
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.
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.
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 Angeles Times"Hall . . . here offers a meditative look at his life as a writer in a spare and beautifully crafted memoir. Devoted to his art, Hall can barely wait for the sun to rise each morning so that he can begin the task of shaping words."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)"I [am] delighted and moved by Donald Hall's Life Work, his autobiographical tribute to sheer work--as distinguished from labor--as the most satisfying and ennobling of activities, whether one is writing, canning vegetables or playing a dung fork on a New Hampshire farm."--Paul Fussell, The Boston Globe"Donald Hall's Life Work has been strangely gripping, what with his daily to do lists, his ruminations on the sublimating power of work. Hall has written so much about that house in New Hampshire where he lives that I'm beginning to think of it less as a place than a state of mind. I find it odd that a creative mind can work with such Spartan organization (he describes waiting for the alarm to go off at 4:45 AM, so eager is he to get to his desk) at such a mysterious activity (making a poem work) without getting in the way of itself."--John Freeman's blog (National Book Critics Circle Board President)
This is Donald Hall's most advanced work, extending his poetic reach even beyond his recent volumes. Conflict dominates this book, and conflict unites it. Hall takes poetry as an instrument for revelation, whether in an elegy for a (fictional) contemporary poet, or in the title series of poems, whose form imitates the first book of the Odes of Horace. The book's final section, "Extra Innings," moves with poignancy to questions about the end of the game.
An introductory course on the production, propagation, and perception of sound as it relates to music and musical instruments
This volume contains the finest short poetry Donald Hall has written, poems of landscape and love, of dedication and prophecy, poems that have won thousands of readers, as well as various prizes and honors.
For nearly forty years, Donald Hall has stood in the front rank of American poets. The title poem, an autobiographical sequence, takes Hall from his boyhood to his growing acquaintance with poets--seniors like Robert Frost and contemporaries like Robert Bly. It sees him growing into manhood, fatherhood, grandfatherhood, and a happy second marriage. When his life inevitably moves into vicissitude, even tragedy, he will tell the dreadful truth about himself and the challenges of his time on earth.
Children's book about the ox-cart man and his hard work throughout the year.
In the tradition of Iona and Peter Opie's Oxford Book of Children's Verse comes this anthology by the award-winning poet and children's book author Donald Hall. Bringing together "poems written for children and also poems written for anybody which children have enjoyed," the book includes anonymous works, ballads, and recitation pieces, beginning with the Calvinist verses of the seventeenth century. Hall has collected poems from Sunday School magazines, Christmas annuals for children, and children's periodicals such as St. Nicholas and Youth's Companion. Many marvelous writers, some no longer remembered, wrote almost every month for these nineteenth and twentieth century publications. In addition to the expected names of Longfellow and Whittier, we find Sarah Josepha Hale ("Mary Had a Little Lamb"), Mary Mapes Dodge (creator of Hans Brinker), and Palmer Cox (with his marvelous Brownies). Twentieth century authors abound: Ogden Nash, T.S. Eliot, John Updike, Theodore Roethke, to name just a few. The book concludes with the fabulous nonsense of present-day writers like Shel Silverstein and Nancy Willard.
An anthology of American poems, arranged chronologically, from colonial alphabet rhymes to Native American cradle songs to contemporary poems.
Affirmation To grow old is to lose everything. Aging, everybody knows it. Even when we are young, we glimpse it sometimes, and nod our heads when a grandfather dies. Then we row for years on the midsummer pond, ignorant and content. But a marriage, that began without harm, scatters into debris on the shore, and a friend from school drops cold on a rocky strand. If a new love carries us past middle age, our wife will die at her strongest and most beautiful. New women come and go. All go. The pretty lover who announces that she is temporary is temporary. The bold woman, middle-aged against our old age, sinks under an anxiety she cannot withstand. Another friend of decades estranges himself in words that pollute thirty years. Let us stifle under mud at the pond's edge and affirm that it is fitting and delicious to lose everything.
Donald Hall's invaluable record of the making of a poet begins with his childhood in Depression-era suburban Connecticut, where as the doted-upon son of dramatically thwarted parents he first realized poetry was "secret, dangerous, wicked, and delicious. " Hall eloquently writes 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 describes as more hormonal than artistic. His painful, formative days at Exeter are followed by a poetic self-liberation of sorts at Harvard and in the post-war university scene at Oxford. After a failed first marriage Hall meets and marries Jane Kenyon, and the two poets return to Eagle Pond. Fittingly, the family home that loomed large in Hall's childhood is where he grows old, and at eighty learns finally "to live in the moment-as you have been told to do all your life. " Unpacking the Boxes is a revelatory and tremendously poignant memoir of one man's life in poetry.
Throughout his writing life Donald Hall has garnered numerous accolades and honors, culminating in 2006 with his appointment as poet laureate of the United States. White Apples and the Taste of Stone collects more than two hundred poems from across sixty years of Hall's celebrated career, and includes poems recently published in The New Yorker, the American Poetry Review, and the New York Times. It is Hall's first selected volume in fifteen years, and the first to include poems from his seminal bestseller Without. Those who have come to love Donald Hall's poetry will welcome this vital and important addition to his body of work. For the uninitiated it is a spectacular introduction to this critically acclaimed and admired poet.
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.
You might expect the fact of dying--the dying of a beloved wife and fellow poet--to make for a bleak and lonely tale. But Donald Hall's poignant and courageous poetry, facing that dread fact, involves us all: the magnificent, humorous, and gifted woman, Jane Kenyon, who suffered and died; the doctors and nurses who tried but failed to save her; the neighbors, friends, and relatives who grieved for her; the husband who sat by her while she lived and afterward sat in their house alone with his pain, self-pity, and fury; and those of us who till now had nothing to do with it. As Donald Hall writes, "Remembered happiness is agony; so is remembered agony." Without will touch every feeling reader, for everyone has suffered loss and requires the fellowship of elegy. In the earth's oldest poem, when Gilgamesh howls of the death of Enkidu, a grieving reader of our own time may feel a kinship, across the abyss of four thousand years, with a Sumerian king. In Without Donald Hall speaks to us all of grief, as a poet lamenting the death of a poet, as a husband mourning the loss of a wife. Without is Hall's greatest and most honorable achievement -- his give and testimony, his lament and his celebration of loss and of love.
"It is a remarkably beautiful and generous book, beautiful in all its terrible specifics of the daily ordeal of death, and generous to the memory of the force of life his wife possessed. These poems by Donald Hall are written to and for his wife, Jane Kenyon, who died in 1995. The first half sketches her illness and death; the second half addresses her in the ensuing year. Unlike Thomas Hardy's elegies to his wife, Emma, "they celebrate a marriage of deep intimacy and great happiness" (John Bayley). Hall speaks to us all of grief- as a husband and as a poet lamenting the death of a poet. Without is his greatest achievement.
Co-authored by two esteemed writers, "Writing Well" is a beautifully-written and thoroughly readable guide to the craft of writing prose. This concise, lively text covers all aspects of writing but is best known for its signature chapters on words, sentences, and paragraphs. Going beyond the basics of composition, the text teaches originality and elegance in writing encouraging students to develop their own written voice. Sample student papers, including several works-in-progress, allow students to learn the writing process through the work of their peers. A brief handbook section rounds out the coverage.
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