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Saturday, September 24, 2016

The 'delicious' world of poetry

“Every afternoon, I would shut the door of my bedroom to write: Poetry was secret, dangerous, wicked and delicious.” – Donald Hall

Considered one of the major American poets of his generation (he celebrated his 88th birthday this past week), Hall’s poetry explores the longing for a more bucolic past and often reflects many a poet’s abiding reverence for nature.

Hall uses simple, direct language to evoke surrealistic imagery.   In addition to his poetry, he has built a respected body of prose that includes essays, short fiction, plays, and children’s books.  He also is noted for the anthologies he has edited.  Hall has long been a popular teacher, speaker, and reader of his own poems.  Once criticized for the simplicity of a poem, he replied, “Everything important always begins from something trivial.”

For Saturday’s Poem, here is Hall’s

An Old Life

Snow fell in the night.
At five-fifteen I woke to a bluish
mounded softness where
the Honda was. Cat fed and coffee made,
I broomed snow off the car
and drove to the Kearsarge Mini-Mart
before Amy opened
to yank my Globe out of the bundle.
Back, I set my cup of coffee
beside Jane, still half-asleep,
murmuring stuporous
thanks in the aquamarine morning.
Then I sat in my blue chair
with blueberry bagels and strong
black coffee reading news,
the obits, the comics, and the sports.
Carrying my cup twenty feet,
I sat myself at the desk
for this day's lifelong
engagement with the one task and desire.

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