Poetry Sparks

A commons for sharing images, quotes, stories, and observations that - given the right mix of oxygen and kindling - might ignite a little poetic inspiration...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Donald Hall

At a conference today, one vendor booth was selling audiobooks, including one of Donald Hall reading his poetry and prose.

Donald Hall is a prolific writer with 15 books of poetry and 20 of prose, and he just commenced his duties as our current U.S. Poet Laureate last month. For over twenty years, he was married to Jane Kenyon (a poet who published four books). Theirs was an extraordinary relationship and the subject of a documentary called A Life Together (1993) by Bill Moyers. Two years after the documentary, Jane died of leukemia. The poems that Donald published after her death in a collection entitled Without were heartbreaking. Even his next collection, The Painted Bed, ached with loss, but a loss now mixed with hope. Consider his poem "Affirmation" available from the Academy of American Poets.

Donald Hall has a brand new collection just released this fall called White Apples and The Taste of Stone: Selected Poems 1946-2006. If you haven't sampled his work before, read a few and see what you think.

The vendor, Audio Bookshelf, was also selling another audiobook of poetry - I, Too Sing America: Three Centuries of African American Poetry.

Poetry is meant to be heard, but there isn't a great variety available on audio. At previous G.R. Dodge festivals I've purchased Billy Collins's The Best Cigarette and Sekou Sundiata's Long Story Short and enjoyed them both.


Blogger tww said...

I figured since I had a blog-o-nymn I'd try tracking you down.

I agree poetry does need to be heard and if people aren't supplying what you need we ought to do it ourselves. It'd be fun to do something where kids could read poetry they like and put it on the web (non-copyright infringing of course). Then let other students/teachers comment on it. That type of thing.

10:22 PM  

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