Old and New Poems


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.

This volume collects between two covers the finest work of Donald Hall, who over a long and distinguished career has given himself to the profession of poetry in every form. Winner of the 1989 National Book Critics Circle Award,...

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Old and New Poems: Donald Hall

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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.

This volume collects between two covers the finest work of Donald Hall, who over a long and distinguished career has given himself to the profession of poetry in every form. Winner of the 1989 National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This diverse collection, which gathers work from 1947 to 1990 by poet and steadfast New Englander Hall (National Book Critics Circle-winning The One Day ), will serve as a superb introduction to newcomers and a sumptuous offering to familiars. Given the book's scope, it is not surprising that a few early poems show somewhat less craft than do recent efforts; Hall's large-bodied, later poetry fully and freshly dominates the volume. Our delight is in following an exceptional poet's growth and depth as he emerges with a richly playful but consummately serious voice. Hall's mirth shines in ``O Cheese,'' a paean to ``the dear dense cheeses, Cheddars and harsh / Lancashires; Gorgonzola with its magnanimous manner; / the clipped speech of Roquefort; and a head of Stilton / that speaks in a sensuous riddling tongue like Druids,'' and in ``The Impossible Marriage,'' his whimsical dream of a union between Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. More somber narrative poems center on Hall's own experiences and on memories of his grandfather's New Hampshire dairy farm, where things rural suggest parables of life and death: ``We are all of us sheep, and death is our shepherd, / and we die as the animals die,'' he observes in ``The Black-Faced Sheep''. Farm animals are nearly always sublime subjects, with Holstein cows unforgettably described as ``these wallowing / big-eyed calf-makers, bone-rafters for leather, / awkward arks, cud-chewing lethargic mooers'' in ``Great Day in the Cows' House.'' If its most memorable poem is the haunting valediction in ``Praise for Death,'' Hall's magnum opus nevertheless bears witness to a vigorous poetic imagination matched by its generous vision of life: ``You listening here, you reading these words as I write them, / I offer this cup to you: Though we drink / from this cup every day, we will never drink it dry'' (``The Day I Was Older''). (Aug.)
Library Journal
Hall's long and vigorous life in poetry is represented here with poems taken from all his previous books (except 1988's The One Day ), a handful of uncollected pieces, and 22 poems written during the last four years. From the formal prosody of his earliest lyrics, through 1960s surrealism, to back-to-the-land narratives of life in rural New Hampshire, this collection could be a core sample from the bedrock of major American poetic styles. But Hall's ability to enlist humor, angst, and anecdote in his quest for great themes is unique. Though Hall is in his sixties, his newest work contains the same vim and spark that drives his older poems, approaching the level of achievement realized in what may be his finest, ``Kicking the Leaves.'' A fascinating and rewarding omnibus.-- Fred Muratori, Cornell Univ. Lib.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780899199542
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 7/28/1990
  • Pages: 258
  • Sales rank: 1,537,888
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

DONALD HALL, who served as poet laureate of the United States from 2006 to 2007, is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a recipient of the National Medal of the Arts, awarded by the president.

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Table of Contents

1934 Abroad Thoughts From Home Acorns Adultery At Forty An Airstrip In Essex, 1960 The Alligator Bride Apples At Delphi The Baseball Players Beau Of The Dead 'between The Clock And The Bed' The Black Faced Sheep The Blue Wing The Body Politic (1) Brief Lives By The Exeter River Carlotta's Confession A Carol The Child A Child's Garden Christ Church Meadows, Oxford Christmas Eve In Whitneyville Cider 5 Cents A Glass The Clown The Coal Fire The Coffee Cup Cold Water The Columns Of The Parthenon Conduct And Work Cops And Robbers The Corner Dancers The Day I Was Older The Days Digging The Dump Eating The Pig Edward's Anecdote Eleanor's Letters Elegy For Wesley Wells Exile The Family The Farm Fathers And Sons Fete Flies For An Exchange Of Rings The Foundations Of American Industry A Friend Revisited Gold A Grace Granite And Grass The Grave, The Well Great Day In The Cow's House The Green Shelf The Grown-ups The Henyard Round The High Pasture The Hole The Hut Of The Man Alone The Idea Of Flying Illustration The Impossible Marriage In The Old House 'internal And External Forms' (from Henry Moore's Sculpture) Je Suis Une Table The Jealous Lovers Kicking The Leaves The Kill 'king And Queen' (from Henry Moore's Sculpture) 'the Kiss' Letter To An English Poet The Lone Ranger The Long River Love Is Like Sounds The Man In The Dead Machine Maple Syrup 'marat's Death' Match Material Maundy Thursday's Candles Merle Bascom's .22 Milkers Broken Up The Moon Moon Clock Mount Kearsarge Mr. And Mrs. Billings Mr. Wakeville On Interstate 90 My Friend Felix My Son The Executioner Mycenae Names Of Horses New Animals New Hampshire No Color Man No Deposit Nose Notes For Nobody O Cheese 'o Flodden Field' (in Memory Of Edwin Muir) Old Home Week Old Houses The Old Pilot Old Roses Old Timers' Day On A Horse Carved In Wood On Reaching The Age Of Two Hundred Our Walk In Yorkshire Ox Cart Man Oysters And Hermits Passage To Worship Persistence Of 1937 Photographs Of China Pictures Of Philippa The Poem Poem With One Fact Praise For Death President And Poet The Presidentiad The Raisin 'reclining Figure' (from Henry Moore's Sculpture) The Red Branch Religious Articles The Repeated Shapes The Revolution The Rocker Scenic View The Scream The Sea A Second Stanza Self-portrait, As A Bear September Ode Sestina A Set Of Seasons Sew Shudder A Sister By The Pond A Sister On The Tracks Six Naps In One Day Sleeping The Sleeping Giant; A Hill In Connecticut A Small Fig Tree The Snow Some Oddities Southwest Of Buffalo Speeches Stone Walls The Stones Stories The Stump Sums (from The Daye-boke Of Adam Raison, 1515-1560) The Sun Swan The Table This Poem The Three Movements To A Waterfowl To The Loud Wind Tomorrow The Town Of Hill The Toy Bone Traffic Transcontinent The Tree And The Cloud Tubes Twelve Seasons The Umbrella The Valley Of Morning A Village In East Anglia Waiting On The Corners Waters Wedding Party Wells Whip-poor-will White Apples The Widows Wolf Knife (from The Journals Of C.f. Hoyt, Usn, 1826-89) Woolworth's The Wreckage The Young Watch Us
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