Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
See and hear Mr. Hall in person at this year's Sunken Garden Poetry Festival on the grounds of the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, Wednesday, July 25 at 7:30 p.m. Other events of interest precede the reading. For more information including directions to the museum go to Hill-Stead's website or call 860.677.4787. To learn more about the poetry events at the museum visit the Sunken Garden website .
Posted by Nancy2 at 6:45 AM
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Plaque mounted at Miller Memorial Library
When Mr. Hall visited Hamden in September the walkway and seating area outside Miller Library was named in his honor by the Town. This month a plaque was erected officially designating the area the Donald Hall Terrace.
Posted by Nancy2 at 7:50 PM
New. Coming in November, 2012. Christmas at Eagle Pond by Donald Hall.
From Amazon.com: Donald Hall, drawing on his own childhood memories to create an instant-classic Christmas story, gives himself the thing he most wanted but didn’t get as a boy: a Christmas at Eagle Pond. It’s the Christmas season of 1940 and twelve-year-old Donnie takes the train to visit his grandparents. Once there, he quickly settles into the farm’s routines. In the barn, Gramp milks the cows and entertains his grandson by speaking rhymed pieces, while his grandson’s eyes are drawn to an empty stall that houses a graceful, cobwebby sleigh. Now, Model-As speed over the wintry roads, which must be ploughed, and the beautiful sleigh has become obsolete. When the church pageant is over, the gifts are exchanged, and the remains of the Christmas feast put away, the air becomes heavy with fine snowflakes—the kind that fall at the start of a big storm—and everyone wonders, how will Donnie get back to his parents on time?
Posted by Nancy2 at 7:43 PM
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Mr. Hall has graciously donated a new DVD to our collection. The DVD was recorded on May 8, 2011 ath the First Congregational Church of Wilmot. Mr Hall reads from his poems and reminisces about life on his family's farm, Eagle Pond. The DVD was produced by the Wilmot New Hampshire Historical Society. It joins Citizen's TV's Hamden Celebrates Donald Hall and PBS's Donald Hall and Jane Kenyon: A Life Together in the non-fiction (800's) section of our DVD collection in the media room. Thank you, Mr. Hall.
Posted by Nancy2 at 2:41 PM
Monday, March 12, 2012
On January 23rd, The New Yorker magazine published Mr. Hall's latest essay entitled "Out the Window" describing winter days at his New Hampshire farmhouse and his views on aging.
(If you haven't read the essay, a summary is available online and, of course, the print version of the magazine is available in the library.)
The New Yorker website also offers the added bonus of an audio file of a telephone interview with Mr. Hall.
NPR soon picked up the thread. WHYY's Terry Gross interviewed him for her program, Fresh Air.
"Out My Window" has also found its place in the blogosphere . "Intrepid Girl" shares Gary Knight's recent photos of Mr. Hall at home in his ancestral farmhouse, surrounded by books and artwork.
Mr. Hall tells us he is still getting letters about the article everyday, including one from Tom Brokaw! He goes on to say that former Baseball Commissioner and fellow Hamden native Fay Vincent "Wrote a column about my essay, in a Florida newspaper, and somebody gave it to me, and I have found him. He grew up in Whitneyville, on Ralston? He caddied for my father at the New Haven Country Club!"
Mr Vincent's article appears below with permission from The TC Palm.
Fay Vincent: Great words, writing open windows to lives, past and present
Aging Donald Hall sheds perspective on growing older, remembering past
Fay Vincent, former business executive and commissioner of Major League Baseball lives in Vero Beach.This morning as I was having my swim, a set of buzzards showed up over head and slowly circled in the bright sunlight. I refuse to be intimidated by such obvious messages, but the grim birds reminded me of a lovely piece in the Jan. 23 New Yorker by the eminent poet Donald Hall.
Hall, the former Poet Laureate, and I grew up in Hamden, Conn., a small suburb of New Haven, and I have read with pleasure and admiration much of his published oeuvre. He loves baseball and the Red Sox and has written many lyric essays about the joys of our great game.
Now in his 80s, his recent essay is about the simple joys the world of nature brings to him as he sits in his armchair and gazes out the window at the winter birds and snow-covered farm yard in rural New Hampshire while recalling his younger days and family times at his old homestead.
The essence of fine writing is to connect the written words to the subconscious of the reader. The Donald Hall essay, like a fine poem, suggests much more than it says. Isaac Stern once told me music is what takes place in between the notes. The same is true of fine writing.
Hall inserts memories of his mother in her older years sitting at her window to watch children walking up the street to the same school he had "trudged" to some 75 years earlier. The repetition of the experiences older people enjoy as they sit by their windows is, of course, to occasion the poetic response.
Many of us are sitting by windows of one sort or another. And many of us recall watching as our parents played out their older years much as we are now doing. I remember seeing my father sitting before his television set in summer afternoons watching meaningless baseball games. Now I do the same thing all summer long. He was perfectly content to enjoy the games because he needed so little to provide him with pleasure.
As Donald Hall sits by his window in New England while the various winter birds cluster on his bird feeder, the simple dimension of the events before his aging eyes does not disappoint him. The poet and the wise man know there is joy in those simple pleasures. Think of Henry David Thoreau. The genius of Hall is his ability to write a few short pages in which his voice sings to us with the strength not of the old man but of the fine poet. He makes the specific into the universal.
It is not the buzzards overhead but the simple pleasure of my mundane swim that is the link between me and the poet. As I swim I ponder how his writing ties me to him and his birds and the window through which he is gazing. Hall writes of his mother and the pleasure of looking out to watch young people walking by her house. Is that not what many of us do? We watch the young as the world turns.
I look out on the world through the prism of books. The biography of George Kennan, the former U.S. diplomat, currently on my reading table is a window for me. Hall and his lovely essay triggered a response within me. Somewhere in that process is the essence of fine writing. My response in a sense completes his poetic effort.
As a kid, I used to caddie for Hall's father at the New Haven Country Club. I liked the elder Hall and he was always gentle to me as I lugged his bag. Hall lived on what he once called "the poor side of Whitney Avenue" — the main thoroughfare bisecting the town. I also lived on that side. On the other side the houses were grander and the families more prominent.
Hall and I have shared much, including baseball. His fine writing — and poetic views — help me appreciate the unfathomable depths of the world just beyond his and my windows. The buzzards circling me this morning reminded me of the ways in which Hall and I share the limits of growing older. Our windows remind us of times past and reward us with thin and cold but pleasant views.
Posted by Nancy2 at 7:20 AM