The Back Chamber

The Back Chamber

By:  Donald Hall

The first full-length volume of poems in a decade by the former poet laureate of the United States In The Back Chamber, Donald Hall illuminates the evocative, iconic objects of deep memory—a cowbell, a white stone perfectly round, a three-legged milking stool—that serve to foreground the rich meditations on time and mortality that run through his remarkable new collection. While Hall’s devoted readers will recognize many of his long-standing preoccupations—baseball, the family farm, love, sex, and friendship—what will strike them as new is the fierce, pitiless poignancy he reveals as his own life’s end comes into view. The Back Chamber is far from being death-haunted, but rather is lively, irreverent, erotic, hilarious, ironic, and sly—full of the life-affirming energy that has made Donald Hall one of America’s most popular and enduring poets.

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  • Format: eBook

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780547646459

  • ISBN-10: 0547646453

  • Pages: 96

  • Price: $10.99

  • Publication Date: 09/13/2011

  • Carton Quantity: 1

Donald Hall
Author

Donald Hall

DONALD HALL (1928-2018) served as poet laureate of the United States from 2006 to 2007. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a recipient of the National Medal of the Arts, awarded by the president.
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  • reviews

    "For the reader boiling in triple-digit SoCal heat at the end of the summer, Donald Hall's "The Back Chamber: Poems" arrives like a sudden cloudburst and shower of cooling rain. . .A former U.S. poet laureate, Hall has always had this elemental power — to vividly evoke his particular New England climate and geography so that it can't be mistaken for any other — but what is more unexpected in this new collection of poems, his 16th, is passion."--LA Times

    "If the poems in it are relatively somber, they’re equally witty, consummately well-crafted." --Booklist, STARRED review

    "Featuring moving, amusing, musical poems about love, aging, and baseball, this work will have broad appeal and is recommended for all collections."—Library Journal"The former U.S. poet laureate reaches his 20th book in unmistakably honest form..." --Publishers Weekly

  • excerpts

    The Things

    When I walk in my house I see pictures,

    bought long ago, framed and hanging

    —de Kooning, Arp, Laurencin, Henry Moore—

    that I’ve cherished and stared at for years,

    yet my eyes keep returning to the masters

    of the trivial—a white stone perfectly round,

    tiny lead models of baseball players, a cowbell,

    a broken great-grandmother’s rocker,

    a dead dog’s toy—valueless, unforgettable

    detritus that my children will throw away

    as I did my mother’s souvenirs of trips

    with my dead father, Kodaks of kittens,

    and bundles of cards from her mother Kate.

    Love’s Progress

    When love empties itself out,

    it fills our bodies full.

    For an hour we lie twining

    pulse and skin together

    like nurslings who sigh

    and doze, dreamy with milk.

    Ruins

    Snow rises as high as my windows. Inside by the fire

    my chair is warm, and I remain compounded of cold.

    It is unthinkable that we will not touch each other again.

    As the barn’s bats swoop, vastation folds its wings

    over my chest to enclose my rapid, impetuous heart.

    It is ruinous that we will not touch each other again.

    Ten miles away, snow falls on your clapboard house.

    You play with your children in frozen meadows of snow.

     

Available Resources

Related Categories

  • Format: eBook

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780547646459

  • ISBN-10: 0547646453

  • Pages: 96

  • Price: $10.99

  • Publication Date: 09/13/2011

  • Carton Quantity: 1

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