Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Rural poet Donald Hall, former poet laureate, dies at 89

Donald Hall
(NYT photo by Bob LaPree)
"Donald Hall, a former poet laureate of the United States who found a universe of meaning in the apples, ox carts and ordinary folk of his beloved rural New England, died on Saturday at his home in Wilmot, N.H. He was 89," David Kirby reports for The New York Times.

His plainspoken verse and deep respect for nature reminds readers of Robert Frost and earned Hall the position of poet laureate in 2006. The son of an unhappy dairy farmer, he grew up in suburban Connecticut, but in 1975 moved to the New Hampshire farm that had been in his family for generations; he would live there for the rest of his life.

A prolific writer, Hall wrote not only poetry but essays, short stories, plays, textbooks, children's books and memoirs. As a diehard Boston Red Sox fan, he wrote two books about baseball that rang with Hall's poetic flair: In Dock Ellis in the Country of Baseball, he wrote "In the country of baseball, time is the air we breathe, and the wind swirls us backward and forward, until we seem so reckoned in time and seasons that all time and all seasons become the same," Kirby reports.

He received a National Medal of Arts in 2011 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. "His other honors include two Guggenheim fellowships, the Poetry Society of America’s Robert Frost Silver medal and the Ruth Lilly Prize for poetry," Kirby reports.

No comments: