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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Poetry: Secret and Delicious

 “Poetry was secret, dangerous, wicked and delicious.”  – Donald Hall


Born in September 1928 (he died in 2018), Hall grew up in Connecticut, discovered the work of Edgar Allan Poe and began writing by age 12.  Hall had his first poem published by age 16, was a participant at the prestigious Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and went on to earn a degree from Oxford.  There he won the Newdigate award for his poem “Exile,” one of the few Americans ever to win the prize.  


Considered one of America’s greatest poets, Hall won many honors, including two Guggenheims, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for poetry, and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize.   Through his writing, teaching, mentoring, editing, and lecturing, he made significant contributions to the study and craft of writing.  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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