Remembering Poet Donald Hall

Jun 30, 2018
Originally published on July 1, 2018 1:17 am
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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

When Donald Hall died at the age of 89, the world lost a voice that spoke of the eternity of nature and the humbling frailty of life. The former poet laureate of the United States was also an outspoken baseball fan and so popular that Wilmot, N.H., the small town in which he lived, gave him his own zip code.

This is from his poem "September Ode." (Reading) The tree is burning on the autumn noon that builds each year, the leaf and bark again. Though frost will strip it raw and barren soon, the rounding season will restore and mend. Yet people are not mended but go on, accumulating memory and love. And so the wood we used to know is gone because the years have taught us that we move.

The poem ends with a timely reminder that losses can make us richer. (Reading) The young are never robbed of innocence but given goal of love and memory. We live in wealth whose bounds exceed our sense and, when we die, are full of memory. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.