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A beautifully written collection of poems explores the themes of love, death and mourning, revisiting the author's childhood home and its fascinating history, and exploring his acceptance of a new life in old age. 10,000 first printing.
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DONALD HALL, poet laureate of the United States from 2006 to 2007, has received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in poetry, the Lenore Marshall Award, the 1990 Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America, and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
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.
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