Without: Poems

Without: Poems

Donald Hall / Jun 06, 2020

Without Poems You might expect the fact of dying the dying of a beloved wife and fellow poet to make for a bleak and lonely tale But Donald Hall s poignant and courageous poetry facing that dread fact involves us

  • Title: Without: Poems
  • Author: Donald Hall
  • ISBN: 9780395957653
  • Page: 248
  • Format: Paperback
  • You might expect the fact of dying the dying of a beloved wife and fellow poet to make for a bleak and lonely tale But Donald Hall s poignant and courageous poetry, facing that dread fact, involves us all the magnificent, humorous, and gifted woman, Jane Kenyon, who suffered and died the doctors and nurses who tried but failed to save her the neighbors, friends, andYou might expect the fact of dying the dying of a beloved wife and fellow poet to make for a bleak and lonely tale But Donald Hall s poignant and courageous poetry, facing that dread fact, involves us all the magnificent, humorous, and gifted woman, Jane Kenyon, who suffered and died the doctors and nurses who tried but failed to save her the neighbors, friends, and relatives who grieved for her the husband who sat by her while she lived and afterward sat in their house alone with his pain, self pity, and fury and those of us who till now had nothing to do with it As Donald Hall writes, Remembered happiness is agony so is remembered agony Without will touch every feeling reader, for everyone has suffered loss and requires the fellowship of elegy In the earth s oldest poem, when Gilgamesh howls of the death of Enkidu, a grieving reader of our own time may feel a kinship, across the abyss of four thousand years, with a Sumerian king In Without Donald Hall speaks to us all of grief, as a poet lamenting the death of a poet, as a husband mourning the loss of a wife Without is Hall s greatest and most honorable achievement his give and testimony, his lament and his celebration of loss and of love.

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      Published :2019-07-26T20:40:59+00:00

    About "Donald Hall"

      • Donald Hall

        Donald Hall was born in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1928 He began writing as an adolescent and attended the Bread Loaf Writers Conference at the age of sixteen the same year he had his first work published He earned a B.A from Harvard in 1951 and a B Litt from Oxford in 1953.Donald Hall has published numerous books of poetry, most recently White Apples and the Taste of Stone Selected Poems 1946 2006 Houghton Mifflin, 2006 The Painted Bed 2002 and Without Poems 1998 , which was published on the third anniversary of his wife and fellow poet Jane Kenyon s death from leukemia Other notable collections include The One Day 1988 , which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and a Pulitzer Prize nomination The Happy Man 1986 , which won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and Exiles and Marriages 1955 , which was the Academy s Lamont Poetry Selection for 1956.In a review of Hall s recent Selected Poems, Billy Collins wrote in the Washington Post Hall has long been placed in the Frostian tradition of the plainspoken rural poet His reliance on simple, concrete diction and the no nonsense sequence of the declarative sentence gives his poems steadiness and imbues them with a tone of sincere authority It is a kind of simplicity that succeeds in engaging the reader in the first few lines Besides poetry, Donald Hall has written books on baseball, the sculptor Henry Moore, and the poet Marianne Moore He is also the author of children s books, including Ox Cart Man 1979 , which won the Caldecott Medal short stories, including Willow Temple New and Selected Stories Houghton Mifflin, 2003 and plays He has also published several autobiographical works, such as The Best Day The Worst Day Life with Jane Kenyon 2005 and Life Work 1993 , which won the New England Book award for nonfiction.Hall has edited than two dozen textbooks and anthologies, including The Oxford Book of Children s Verse in America 1990 , The Oxford Book of American Literary Anecdotes 1981 , New Poets of England and America with Robert Pack and Louis Simpson, 1957 , and Contemporary American Poetry 1962 revised 1972 He served as poetry editor of The Paris Review from 1953 to 1962, and as a member of editorial board for poetry at Wesleyan University Press from 1958 to 1964.His honors include two Guggenheim fellowships, the Poetry Society of America s Robert Frost Silver medal, a Lifetime Achievement award from the New Hampshire Writers and Publisher Project, and the Ruth Lilly Prize for poetry Hall also served as Poet Laureate of New Hampshire from 1984 to 1989 In December 1993 he and Jane Kenyon were the subject of an Emmy Award winning Bill Moyers documentary, A Life Together In the June 2006, Hall was appointed the Library of Congress s fourteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry He lives in Danbury, New Hampshire.


    1. This was a library group read and I have to admit when I was first handed it, my teeth were set. "Poetry, really?" inside I said, with a deep groan! But let me say I fell in love with this "little" book and now it is in my cart to own. I have no words for this book, so let me just quote two poems that effected me deeply, in no way the deepest but to me a couple of the most tender."This morning Gussiewoke me up. I let him out, fed Ada,took Gus back in again,and fed him. Then I went to the bathro [...]

    2. "The hour/we lived in, two decades/by the pond, has transformed/into a single unstoppable day,/gray in the dwelling-place/of absence.""If someone had told us then/you would die in nineteen years,/would it have sounded/like almost enough time?""I loved to turn up in your poems/I imagined those you'd make/after I died; I regretted/I wouldn't be able to read them."A book of poems filled with adoring devotion for his wife. Honest, humble and profoundly pained observations of the process of losing an [...]

    3. This book totally caught me by surprise. I read it late one night/early one morning without stopping. It was so raw with emotion, yet so dear to heart. I could feel the pain and grief Hall was feeling. I shed tears on more than one occasion. Unfortunately, I was reading a library book. I had to keep stopping myself from picking up a highlighter to mark passages. If you get the opportunity to read it, this book is definitely worth a couple of hours of your time.

    4. Cut to the Chase:I don’t read much poetry… but what poetry I do read tends to be by Donald Hall and a handful of others. This is without a doubt my favorite single work by Hall, though it is lean, sparse, and an emotional roller coaster. Scratch that, roller coasters have ups and downs, this is a more of an emotional spiral into all of the edges and dimensions of love, death, and grief at its rawest. It is one of my favorite all time collections.Greater Detail:Normally, this is where I would [...]

    5. A moving elegy in poems by Donald Hall for Jane Kenyon, his beloved wife and fellow poet, who fought valiantly with leukemia. These poems grapple with and then embrace his loss, before and after her passing. What a marriage this must have been, to her last word ("O.K.", about his putting her letters in the box); and her last kiss: "At eight that night,her eyes open as they stayeduntil she died, brain-stem breathing started, he bent to kiss her pale cool lips again, and felt them one last time ga [...]

    6. I have followed the career of both Jane Kenyon and Donald Hall for decades and enjoyed their thoughtful and often inspiring work very much. I was devastated as any fan when Kenyon died. This book of poetry is a raw and honest portrayal of living, dying, and grief. I am keeping this book to return to when I need it. What a beautiful tribute to their love and relationship! I highly recommend this. I'm not a huge fan of poetry, but this is so easy to relate to.

    7. Without is an affecting book, one of the few books of poetry that I have read through at a sitting. It is not pleasant reading, I don’t know whether it is always poetry, but it is always an honest look into the heart of grief, and as such a comfort in a way to those of us who see our own grief coming.

    8. I read this first for an Intermediate Poetry class as an undergrad accompanied by Jane Kenyon's Otherwise. I don't think I could quite appreciate it as I do now, on the other side of loss. I am immersing myself in these volumes of poetry now that I have my own collection of loss-poetry as I try to figure out how my own manuscript will fall into place.

    9. Have I read this at least twenty times? Yes. Am I still a weeping mess after every read? Yes. Does Donald Hall know what he's doing? Yes.

    10. As would be expected, Without is a heavy affair. It is also honest and sometimes, hard to bear. Hall's pain and grief sustains the 81 pages without veering off into too much sentimentality. It would be difficult to read this book and not feel everything he felt.

    11. My friend Hartman had this book and suggested I take a look at it one night when we were over there. I am very interested in studying grief and loss so he knew I would enjoy it. I started reading the first poem and couldn't stop. I read the whole book while we all were sitting there conversing. It is moving, heartfelt, passionate, sad and truly a powerful book of love and friendship. I was completely taken with his words and his writing style is so beautiful and easy to read for an amateur reade [...]

    12. This is the most powerful, poignant, beautifully written book of poetry I have ever read. These poems are written to and for Donald Hall's wife, poet Jane Kenyon, who died in 1995. Liz Rosenberg of the Boston Globe said my feelings best: "It is a remarkably beautiful and generous book, beautiful in all its terrible specifics of the daily ordeal of death, and generous to the memory of the force of life his wife possessed. The result, I think, is his strongest book yeta work of art, love, and gene [...]

    13. this book is HEARTBREAKING. he wrote all the poems during his wife's struggle with cancer, and they are all really delicate and preciseyou can feel what he's feeling, almost, becuase he picks such great words and uses great line breaks and stuff. the one of page 3 (i thinkybe 13ey don;t have names) is intenseabout him wanting to do something, but not knowing what to do. i actually was able to hear his read drom this collection while i was in college, and it was CRAZY. like meeting tomcruise, but [...]

    14. I don't usually like reading an entire book of poetry at one sitting--but this was a rare exception. It's a sad, lovely story about Hall's wife, (Jane Kenyon, another poet) how he loved her and how she died.

    15. This is the best collection of grief poems I have ever read. Donald Hall has always been a highly accessible poet, not esoteric, but down to earth, genuine. His poetry captures love and family and the rural experience better than almost any poet--the only comparison might be to Wendell Berry. These poems concern his wife, Jane Kenyon, a fine poet herself, and her diagnosis and eventual death from cancer. Hall captures his individual experience of struggling with Jane throughout her illness, but [...]

    16. The Atlantic Monthly describes the collect: "The anguish of loss strikes like a fist" does no justice to these poems nor justly discribes loss. A punch in the face or anywhere is a blow that is relatively short in duration. A person knows that the pain will fade and can get help for the wound. Loss doesn't only strike physically and psychologically, it seeps in spiritually, emotionally, mentally, but it comes like boiling hot water. The scars of loss can not be treated the same way of a blow fro [...]

    17. With staggering candor, honesty, and a steadfast devotion to his craft, Hall chronicles the loss of his wife, a fellow poet. I was in tears by the end.

    18. Honest and brave and devastating. Fine poetry made from near-unendurable grief, but beautiful; ultimately, very beautiful.

    19. Beautiful and heartbreaking book about losing his wife, the amazing Jane Kenyon. Loss is an incredibly hard thing and this short poetry book gets there. Good stuff.

    20. Donald Hall’s book of poetry Without: Poems is about a dying wife and a dying poet. These poems were very interesting because it took the form of a book, but yet remained a collection of poetry, but the whole piece told a story. The beginning of the collection of poetry was a poem entitled “Her long illness” in the poem Donald Hall painted a picture of a dedicated husband who was beside his dying wife that had been stricken with cancer. There was a part that stood out to me which was “he [...]

    21. Donald Hall, Without (Houghton Mifflin, 1998)Donald Hall is one of America's most accomplished men of letters, and never has he been more so than in Without. Published on the third anniversary of the death of his wife, the late poet Jane Kenyon, Without is split into two sections. The first details the months leading up to her death, and as expected, the poems in this section are fraught, fast-moving, tense, full of alternating hope and fear, as well as the quotidian agony of chemotherapy and im [...]

    22. Until now, I was not a huge Donald Hall fan, but I liked him okay. I found “Unpacking the boxes” almost boring, but he is a wordsmith, so it was worth reading. This book of poetry is about Jane, Mr. Hall’s wife, who died of leukemia about twenty years into their marriage, in her forties. I found it in hard copy at a bookstore in Sonoma County, and felt like I won a scratch ticket. I was on vacation and dropping a ton of dough that week, so eight bucks for a slim hard cover did not seem ste [...]

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