Words matter. These are the best Donald Hall Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
Although I was paid a salary in Ann Arbor, my wife and children and I drank powdered milk at six cents a quart instead of the stuff that came in bottles. I was a tightwad.
I grew up in the suburbs of Connecticut – during the school time of year – but I preferred it in New Hampshire. I preferred the culture, the landscape, the relative solitude. I’ve always loved it.
On September twentieth every year, I got to choose my menu – meatloaf, corn niblets, and rice were followed by candles on chocolate cake with vanilla icing and a scoop of Brock-Hall ice cream.
I think my very best work came out when I was about 60, not when I was 20. I was publishing all the time when I was in my 20s, and some of those poems I still like. And there were a few after 60, and in my 70s, that I like. But they became fewer and fewer.
For better or worse, poetry is my life.
I’d heard of writers who say they hate to write. Not me. I love to do it.
In my life, I’ve seen enormous increase in the consumption of poetry. When I was young, there were virtually no poetry readings.
There’s a great deal of stripping away; in early drafts, I may say the same thing two or three times, and each may be appropriate, but I try to pick the best and improve it. I work on sound a great deal, and I will change a word or two, revise punctuation and line breaks, looking for the sound I want.
Friends die, friends become demented, friends quarrel, friends drift with old age into silence.
It is sensible of me to be aware that I will die one of these days. I will not ‘pass away.’
Many times I have written something, and after it was published, I understood what I was saying.
In 1975, I quit my tenure, and we moved from Ann Arbor to New Hampshire. It was daunting to pay for groceries and the mortgage by freelance writing – but it worked, and I loved doing it.
I live in the house my great-grandfather moved to in 1865… I spent all my summers here as a kid haying with my grandfather, and it was my favorite place in the world.
I have to do draft after draft… It takes me a long time, but I love doing it, and I have to do it every day, or I feel slack.
Every afternoon, I shut the door of my bedroom to write: Poetry was secret, dangerous, wicked and delicious.
I expect my immortality will last about six seconds after my funeral.
There are books all around me… I don’t read as much as I used to, but I always have a book or two going.
New poems no longer come to me with their prodigies of metaphor and assonance. Prose endures. I feel the circles grow smaller, and old age is a ceremony of losses, which is, on the whole, preferable to dying at forty-seven or fifty-two.
However alert we are, antiquity remains an unknown, unanticipated galaxy.
Everything important always begins from something trivial.
We approached Athens from the north in early twilight, climbing a hill. When we reached its peak, we were dazzled to look down and see the Acropolis struck by one beam of the setting sun, as if posing for a picture.
I felt the need to be more open and expressive of my feelings, not just about the hills and the countryside, but about the daily life.
Many years, I would publish four books – an anthology, a book of criticism, a new book of poems, a book of essays.
Not everything in old age is grim. I haven’t walked through an airport for years, and wheelchairs are the way to travel.
When I lived summers at my grandparents’ farm, haying with my grandfather from 1938 to 1945, my dear grandmother Kate cooked abominably. For noon dinners, we might eat three days of fricasseed chicken from a setting hen that had boiled twelve hours.
When I lament and darken over my diminishments, I accomplish nothing. It’s better to sit at the window all day, pleased to watch birds, barns, and flowers.
I don’t publish anything I haven’t worked over 100 times.
Contentment is work so engrossing that you do not know that you are working.
Even famous poets such as Marianne Moore and William Carlos Williams were rarely asked to read their poems.
As I look at the barn in my ninth decade, I see the no-smoking sign, rusted and tilting on the unpainted gray clapboard. My grandfather, born in 1875, milked his cattle there a century ago.