Perhaps not so many were familiar with Donald Hall – no more so than most are familiar with poets in general, poets laureate of the United States or not.
But somehow, the passing of poet Donald Hall this week has stirred me… in a very different way from how I am stirred by the horror show of current events or by my daily life and its little ups and downs. No, the poetic life and its slower, more contemplative timbre force me to calm down as well, to look back over the life, the writing, the voice of Donald Hall. To reinfuse my daily life with poetry (which is something I give thought to daily but don’t slow down enough to fully appreciate). It is perhaps my own form of meditation.
“Then I had the night
to myself. No moon, no starts, no trucks, no heifers,
no friends, no stories, and no sound. Only dark fields
and darker road, black on black, and I was alive, older
than my dark-haired father ever got to be, sleepy,
not wanting to sleep, happy, startled by happiness”
-Donald Hall, from “The Night of the Day”