Donald Hall, 87, says he can’t write poems any more. But he can still write essays and articles, and he can still select his favorite poems and assemble them into a collection that illustrates a lifetime of poetry.
The collection is entitled, appropriately enough, The Selected Poems of Donald Hall. The poems are drawn from some 16 collections of poetry Hall has published since 1955. His poetry is what might be called “New England Plain Speak,” not unlike that of another New Englander, Robert Frost. Hall’s poetry comes from the land, the weather and the people of New England, specifically New Hampshire and Connecticut, a poetry that is often flint-like and always spare.
He’s had a distinguished career. He met Robert Frost at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. According to his biography at The Poetry Foundation, he studied at Harvard, with classmates like Adrienne Rich, Robert Bly, Frank O’Hara and John Ashbery. He received a degree from Oxford.
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.
Photograph: Eagle Pond Farm, where Hall lives in New Hampshire.