Friday, June 16, 2006
New Hampshire poet Donald Hall named new poet laureate
By Beverley Wang, Associated Press Writer
June 14, 2006
WILMOT, N.H. --A fax last week informed Donald Hall he would be the next poet laureate of the United States, and since then, between phone calls, sitting for photographs and giving interviews, he has been thinking about his new job.
"I had one friend, I asked him to give me ideas for what I can do as poet laureate, and he typed out 85," said Hall, a former New Hampshire poet laureate. (Rest of article is here.)
I remember reading him after he published the book of poems dealing with the death of his wife, the poet Jane Kenyon. NPR has good coverage and several of his poems here from All Things Considered. I like the one below. It's good to see a New Englander back in office. (Kearsarge is also the name of the ship which fought and sunk the famous Confederate ship Alabama off the coast of France. Edouard Manet witnessed event and the painting hangs in Philadelphia Musuem of Art. I have always wanted a copy of that print since I was a big fan of Scott O' Dell's The 290 as a teen. FYI. Sorry about the tangent.)
Mount Kearsarge Shines
Mount Kearsarge shines with ice: from hemlock branches
snow slides onto snow; no stream, creek, or river
budges but remains still. Tonight
we carry armloads of logs.
from woodshed to Glenwood and build up the fire
that keeps the coldest night outside our windows.
Sit by the woodstove, Camilla.
while I bring glasses of white.
and we'll talk, passing the time, about weather
without pretending that we can alter it:
Storms stop when they stop, no sooner,
leaving the birches glossy
with ice and bent glittering to rimy ground.
We'll avoid the programmed weatherman grinning
from the box, cheerful with tempest,
and take the day as it comes,
one day at a time, the way everyone says.
These hours are the best because we hold them close
in our uxorious nation.
Soon we'll walk -- when days turn fair
and frost stays off -- over old roads, listening
for peepers as spring comes on, never to miss
the day's offering of pleasure
for the government of two.
POSTSCRIPT: If you DID NOT see The Squid and the Whale yet you might not want to read the rest of this. Minor plot spoiler ahead..... I enjoyed the movie but the one story line about the older kid plagarizing Hey You by Pink Floyd and no one catching on immediately bothered me. The movie was set in Brooklyn 1986...The Wall came out in 1979 and was one of the first records I owned that was not from a yardsale, hand me down, or Columbia House Record Club. It was played incessantly on the radio for years. Everyone knew that album backwards and forwards even in CT. Especially after Alan Parker's film version came out in 1982. It was the midnight movie for years paired up with Rocky Horror. I just found that one a little hard to swallow. 'Nuff said.