Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Donald Hall (born 1928), Poet, Caregiver, and Sickness Student
"Dying is simple," she said.
"What's worst is… the separation."
When she no longer spoke,
they lay along together, touching,
and she fixed on him
her beautiful enormous round brown eyes,
shining, unblinking,
and passionate with love and dread

Donald Hall,  “The Last Days,” except from poem in his book Without,  dedicated to his beloved wife, Jane Kenyou  (1947-1995), a fellow poet
November 27, 2012 -  I’m just back from a 2 day trip to Wilmot, New Hampshire, Eagle Pond Farm to be precise.  I travelled there with my son, my wife, and two friends to visit Donald Hall,    truly a man of letters, poet laureate of the United States from 2006 to 2007, and winner of multiple literary prizes.
Before going ,  I read two of Hall’s recent books, Unpacking the Boxes, A Memoir  of a Life in Poetry (2008), and The Best Day the Worst Day: Life with Jane Kenyon (2005).
In these two books,  Donadl Hall describes own illness (carcinoma of the colon, with liver metastases,  partial liver resection, and 20 year cure) and those of his young wife, 19 years his junior,  who suffered from a severe manic-depression bipolar disorder , partially controlled by antidepressive  agents, and lymphoblastic leukemia, which was treated with bone marrow transplant and a host of chemotherapeutic drugs.
What struck me about his books was not only his storied literary career (he knew the greatest poets and writers of his time and helped found The Paris Review), but  his harmonious interactions  with and understanding of  the medical profession, his extraordinary grasp of the clinical details of illness, and his dedication as a compassionate caregiver to his wife, with her painful,  exhausting, stormy,  and nerve-wracking  illnesses.  His memories of her are a touching tribute to a fine human being and a great poet.   Hall's book  sell well to this day.   Donald has not giving up the writing life.  He now has an essay running  in Playbook and still appears in variety of other well known publications.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Its my chief things to fill someone in on on this forum,well-founded wannat make some friends here.if its not allowed to record on this food,will strike out this thread.Nice to adjoin you!

[url=http://www.sexybags.info/rssrock.html]My designer handabgs[/url]