The Painted Bed: Poems

( 2 )

Overview

Affirmation

To grow old is to lose everything.
Aging, everybody knows it.
Even when we are young, we glimpse it sometimes, and nod our heads when a grandfather dies.
Then we row for years on the midsummer pond, ignorant and content. But a marriage, that began without harm,...

See more details below
Paperback (First Mariner Books Edition)
$12.76
BN.com price
(Save 8%)$14.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (45) from $1.99   
  • New (17) from $1.99   
  • Used (28) from $1.99   
The Painted Bed: Poems

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99
BN.com price
(Save 28%)$14.00 List Price

Overview

Affirmation

To grow old is to lose everything.
Aging, everybody knows it.
Even when we are young, we glimpse it sometimes, and nod our heads when a grandfather dies.
Then we row for years on the midsummer pond, ignorant and content. But a marriage, that began without harm, scatters into debris on the shore, and a friend from school drops cold on a rocky strand.
If a new love carries us past middle age, our wife will die at her strongest and most beautiful.
New women come and go. All go.
The pretty lover who announces that she is temporary is temporary. The bold woman, middle-aged against our old age, sinks under an anxiety she cannot withstand.
Another friend of decades estranges himself in words that pollute thirty years.
Let us stifle under mud at the pond’s edge and affirm that it is fitting and delicious to lose everything.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
After Hall's wife, poet Jane Kenyon, died in 1995, the writer gained a new, dark muse who has influenced his last two poetry collections. With this book, Hall enters another stage of grief. In "Distressed Haiku," he writes, "You think that their / dying is the worst / thing that could happen // Then they stay dead." Every line of these seemingly simple, heartbreaking poems bears Hall's distinctive musical mark. His ear for rhythm and movement is flawless, confirming his position as a master of both open form and conventional rhymed verse. Hall's work exhibits the terrible suffering of the bereaved with dignity and beauty.
—Stephen Whited

Publishers Weekly
Hall has for decades been an eminent poet and critic; his previous book, Without (1999), was a raw collection of elegies for his late wife, the poet Jane Kenyon, that brought attention to their lives and work. More controlled, more varied and more powerful, this taut follow-up volume reexamines Hall's grief while exploring the life he has made since. The book's first poem, "Kill the Day," stands among the best Hall has ever written. It examines mourning in 16 long-lined stanzas, alternating catalogue with aphorism, understatement with keened lament: "How many times will he die in his own lifetime?" Two groups of terse, short-lined free verse proffer stories and moments from Kenyon's last days and from Hall's first days without her: "You think that their dying is the worst thing that could happen. Then they stay dead." Subsequent brief stanzaic lyrics take both epigraph and method from Thomas Hardy's poems on the loss of his wife: some will please both Hardy's fans and Hall's. But even those fans may skip "Daylilies on the Hill," a lengthy and overly detailed verse history of the by now familiar New Hampshire house that Hall and Kenyon shared. The book's last poems range from raunchy to wise as they explore sex in later age "Sometimes our red fitted sheets maneuvered to embrace us like pythons." The final poem, ironically called "Affirmation," contains a more typical and typically stark prediction: "If a new love carries us past middle age, our wife will die at her strongest and most beautiful." (Apr.) Forecast: The press blitz that accompanied Without won't materialize here, but it won't matter to Hall's (and Kenyon's) many readers. Look for broader reviews centered on the poetry of illness and grief that could include this book, Alan Shapiro's Song & Dance (Forecasts, Dec. 17, 2001), Linda Pastan's The Last Uncle (Forecasts, Jan. 21) and Donald Revell's Arcady (reviewed below). Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
"A compelling, sometimes shocking, and certainly deeply moving depiction of bereavement."—Sally Connolly, POETRY
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618340750
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/8/2003
  • Edition description: First Mariner Books Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 489,648
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.31 (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.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Her Garden
I let her garden go.

let it go, let it go How can I watch the hummingbird
Hover to sip
With its beak's tip The purple bee balm—whirring as we heard
It years ago?
The weeds rise rank and thick
let it go, let it go Where annuals grew and burdock grows,
Where standing she
At once could see The peony, the lily, and the rose
Rise over brick She'd laid in patterns. Moss
let it go, let it go Turns the bricks green, softening them
By the gray rocks
Where hollyhocks That lofted while she lived, stem by tall stem,
Dwindle in loss.
Affirmation To grow old is to lose everything.
Aging, everybody knows it.
Even when we are young, we glimpse it sometimes, and nod our heads when a grandfather dies.
Then we row for years on the midsummer pond, ignorant and content. But a marriage, that began without harm, scatters into debris on the shore, and a friend from school drops cold on a rocky strand.
If a new love carries us past middle age, our wife will die at her strongest and most beautiful.
New women come and go. All go.
The pretty lover who announces that she is temporary is temporary. The bold woman, middle-aged against our old age, sinks under an anxiety she cannot withstand.
Another friend of decades estranges himself in words that pollute thirty years.
Let us stifle under mud at the pond's edge and affirm that it is fitting and delicious to lose everything.
Copyright © 2002 by Donald Hall. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Kill the Day 1
The After Life 11
After Homer 21
Barber 22
Folding Chair 23
Her Intent 24
Retriever 25
Sweater 26
Another Christmas 27
Deathwork 29
The Perfect Life 30
Distressed Haiku 31
Easters 33
Throwing the Things Away 35
Ardor 39
Her Garden 43
Hiding 44
Summer Kitchen 45
Wool Squares 46
Proctor Graveyard 47
Burn the Album 48
The Touch 49
Pond Afternoons 50
Hours Hours 51
The Wish 52
Daylilies on the Hill 1975-1989 55
The Old Lover 71
Conversation's Afterplay 72
Charity and Dominion 73
Razor 74
Buoyancy 75
"Maison d'Aujourd'hui" 77
Impossible Lovers 79
The Peaceable Kingdom 81
Sun 82
Villanelle 83
Love Poem 84
Dread and Desire 85
Out of Bed 86
Affirmation 87
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2003

    Sublime

    Heartbreak. And the long, masterful 'Daylilies', about two centuries of his family members who have died in his farmhouse, poetry doesn't get better than this.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2002

    Phenomenal

    I was truly touched by this book. I felt that he captured a multitude of emotion quite beautifully. This book was so personal and focused on the writer's grief over losing his wife as well as everything they shared together. He embraced his struggle, their romance, sexual relationship, as well as his futile attempts at dating someone new. His emotions are raw on each page!!!!!! I absolutely loved this book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)