Donald Hall

(b. 1928)

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Connecticut-born poet, educated at Harvard and Oxford, where his “Exiles” won the Newdigate Prize (1952). He was a professor at Michigan (1957–77). His early poetry in Exiles and Marriages (1955) was marked by traditional meters and rhythms and formalism as well as ironic wit. The Dark Houses (1958), poems about suburban and smalltown life, is freer and more emotional. This change is further developed in later works, which are more subjective and rich in sensuous imagery: The Alligator Bride (1969), new poems and revised earlier ones; A Roof of Tiger Lilies (1964); The Yellow Room (1971), about a romance; The Town of Hill (1975), a small collection; A Blue Wing Tilts at the Edge of the Sea (1975); and Kicking the Leaves (1978). He has collaborated in two prose works about baseball, Playing Around (1974) and Dock Ellis in the Country of Baseball (1976), as well as writing critical studies of the sculptor Henry Moore (1966) and the poet Marianne Moore (1970). String Too Short To Be Saved (1961) recalls in prose his youthful summers on a New Hampshire farm, and Remembering Poets (1978) contains reminiscences and assessments of Dylan Thomas, Frost, Eliot, and Pound. Goatfoot Milktongue Twinbird (1978) collects interviews, essays, and notes on poetry, as does The Weather for Poetry (1982). Hall edited the Oxford Book of American Literary Anecdotes (1981) and Claims for Poetry (1982), by 43 poets on the nature of poetry.

Subjects: Literature.

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