Donald Hall Famous Quotes & Sayings

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Top 100 Donald Hall Quotes

#1. When it comes to poetry, I think partly the numbers of people attempting to write poems is probably a result or the reaction to technology. - Author: Donald Hall
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#2. In December of 1952, my first wife, Kirby, and I left Vienna to drive through the Russian sector of Austria into Yugoslavia. - Author: Donald Hall
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#3. Each season, my balance gets worse, and sometimes I fall. I no longer cook for myself but microwave widower food, mostly Stouffer's. My fingers are clumsy and slow with buttons. - Author: Donald Hall
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#4. 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. - Author: Donald Hall
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#5. 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. - Author: Donald Hall
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#6. I'd heard of writers who say they hate to write. Not me. I love to do it. - Author: Donald Hall
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#7. 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. - Author: Donald Hall
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#8. I've always felt that poetry was particularly erotic, more than prose was ... I say that you read poems not with your eyes and not with your ears, but with your mouth. You taste it. - Author: Donald Hall
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#9. Baseball, because of its continuity over the space of America and the time of America, is a place where memory gathers. - Author: Donald Hall
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#10. 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. - Author: Donald Hall
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#11. I've had someone, my assistant, type for me. I've done it that way for more than 50 years because I type with one finger, although quite rapidly. - Author: Donald Hall
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#12. Can build plane ... Delivery about three months. - Author: Donald Hall
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#13. To grow old is to lose everything. Aging, everybody knows it. Even when we are young, we glimpse it sometimes, and nod our heads when a grandfather dies. Then we row for years on the midsummer pond, ignorant and content. - Author: Donald Hall
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#14. Contentment is work so engrossing that you do not know that you are working. - Author: Donald Hall
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#15. I expect my immortality will last about six seconds after my funeral. - Author: Donald Hall
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#16. I wish you were that birch rising from the clump behind you, and I the gray oak alongside. - Author: Donald Hall
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#17. If our goal is to write poetry, the only way we are likely to be any good is to try to be as great as the best. - Author: Donald Hall
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#18. 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. - Author: Donald Hall
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#19. Words seem like drops of water in a stream that has its own wholeness and its own motion. - Author: Donald Hall
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#20. We made in those days tiny identical rooms inside our bodies which the men who uncover our graves will find in a thousand years shining and whole. - Author: Donald Hall
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#21. When I was 12, I had a fondness for horror movies like the 'Wolfman.' The boy next door said I should read Poe. - Author: Donald Hall
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#22. Your presence in this house is almost as painful and enormous as your absence. - Author: Donald Hall
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#23. 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. - Author: Donald Hall
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#24. Divorce was miserable, as it always is, and we divorce for the same reasons we marry. - Author: Donald Hall
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#25. I have seen so many poets who were famous, who won all sorts of prizes, disappear with their death. I write as good as I can and don't try to turn that into some hope for a future that I could never know. - Author: Donald Hall
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#26. As I grew older - collapsing into my seventies, glimpsing ahead the cliffs of the eighties, colliding into eighty-five - poetry abandoned me. - Author: Donald Hall
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#27. Great literature, if we read it well, opens us up to the world and makes us more sensitive to it, as if we acquired eyes that could see through things and ears that could hear smaller sounds. - Author: Donald Hall
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#28. 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. - Author: Donald Hall
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#29. However alert we are, antiquity remains an unknown, unanticipated galaxy. - Author: Donald Hall
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#30. Sound had always been my portal to poetry, but in the beginning, sound was imagined through the eye. - Author: Donald Hall
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#31. Every afternoon, I shut the door of my bedroom to write: Poetry was secret, dangerous, wicked and delicious. - Author: Donald Hall
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#32. By 1968, I had lived 10 years in Michigan. Gradually, I had come to love watching Detroit's baseball club in its small, beautiful, antiquated Tiger Stadium - a baseball park as fine as Fenway Park or Wrigley Field, though it never got the adulatory press. - Author: Donald Hall
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#33. Horace, when he wrote the Ars Poetica, recommended that poets keep their poems home for ten years; don't let them go, don't publish them until you have kept them around for ten years: by that time, they ought to stop moving on you; by that time, you ought to have them right. - Author: Donald Hall
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#34. In anything you write - in a short story, a poem - there has to be a counter-motion; it can't go all in one direction. - Author: Donald Hall
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#35. It's almost relaxing to know I'll die fairly soon, as it's a comfort not to obsess about my next orgasm. - Author: Donald Hall
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#36. Life is hell but death is worse.
- from No Deposit - Author: Donald Hall
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#37. Even famous poets such as Marianne Moore and William Carlos Williams were rarely asked to read their poems. - Author: Donald Hall
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#38. In my life, I've seen enormous increase in the consumption of poetry. When I was young, there were virtually no poetry readings. - Author: Donald Hall
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#39. Exiled by death from people we have known,
We are reduced again by years, and try
To call them back and clothe the barren bone,
Not to admit that people ever die.
-from Exile - Author: Donald Hall
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#40. I want to sleep like the birds then wake to write you again without hope that you read me. - Author: Donald Hall
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#41. I was at Harvard with a whole bunch of poets, and that was very rare. They published a lot of books because there was an excitement after the war that translated into poetry. - Author: Donald Hall
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#42. Baseball is fathers and sons. Football is brothers beating each other up in the backyard. - Author: Donald Hall
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#43. Many years, I would publish four books - an anthology, a book of criticism, a new book of poems, a book of essays. - Author: Donald Hall
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#44. We learned how to love each other by loving together
good things wholly outside each other. - Author: Donald Hall
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#45. The form of free verse is as binding and as liberating as the form of a rondeau. - Author: Donald Hall
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#46. For better or worse, poetry is my life. - Author: Donald Hall
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#47. If the poet wants to be a poet, the poet must force the poet to revise. If the poet doesn't wish to revise, let the poet abandon poetry and take up stamp-collecting or real estate. - Author: Donald Hall
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#48. The pleasure we feel, reading a poem, is our assurance of its integrity. - Author: Donald Hall
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#49. For most baseball fans, maybe oldest is always best. We love baseball because it seizes and retains the past, like the snowy village inside a glass paperweight. - Author: Donald Hall
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#50. Each year the big garden grew smaller and Jane - who grew flowers by choice, not corn or stringbeans - worked at the vegetables more than I did. Each winter I dreamed crops, dreamed marvels of canning ... and each summer I largely failed. Shamefaced, I planted no garden at all. - Author: Donald Hall
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#51. I see no reason to spend your life writing poems unless your goal is to write great poems. - Author: Donald Hall
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#52. A fellowship to Oxford acquainted me with the depths of English cooking. By the twenty-first century, London's best restaurants are as good as Paris's, but not in the 1950s. - Author: Donald Hall
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#53. We are all dying
of something, always,
but our degrees of
awareness differ
- from Tubes - Author: Donald Hall
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#54. I write longhand; I make changes longhand, and I have an assistant who types it up. She lives 70 yards away. Every afternoon, I have a case I leave out on the porch, and she brings it back the next morning. - Author: Donald Hall
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#55. To grow old is to lose everything. - Author: Donald Hall
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#56. 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. - Author: Donald Hall
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#57. When I was a child, I loved old people. My New Hampshire grandfather was my model human being. - Author: Donald Hall
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#58. Everything important always begins from something trivial. - Author: Donald Hall
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#59. I read poems for the pleasure of the mouth. My heart is in my mouth, and the sound of poetry is the way in." ~from an interview in Narrative magazine - Author: Donald Hall
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#60. Generation on generation, your neck rubbed the windowsill
of the stall, smoothing the wood as the sea smooths glass. - Author: Donald Hall
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#61. My problem isn't death but old age. I fret about my lack of balance, my buckling knee, my difficulty standing up and sitting down. - Author: Donald Hall
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#62. If work is no antidote to death, nor a denial of it, death is a powerful stimulus to work. Get done what you can. - Author: Donald Hall
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#63. When I was nineteen,
I told a thirty-
year-old man what a
fool I had been when
I was seventeen.
'We were always,' he
said glancing down, 'a
fool two years ago. - Author: Donald Hall
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#64. Opposites are attracted when each one is anxious about its own character. - Author: Donald Hall
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#65. Love is like sounds, whose last reverberations / Hang on the leaves of strange trees, on mountains / As distant as the curving of the earth, / Where the snow hangs still in the middle of the air.
-from Love is Like Sounds - Author: Donald Hall
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#66. One day, of course, no one will remember what I remember. - Author: Donald Hall
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#67. To desire to write poems that endure-we undertake such a goal certain of two things: that in all likelihood we will fail, and if we succeed we will never know it - Author: Donald Hall
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#68. You think that their dying is the worst thing that could happen. Then they stay dead. - Author: Donald Hall
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#69. I don't know where a poem comes from until after I've lived with it a long time. I've a notion that a poem comes from absolutely everything that every happened to you. - Author: Donald Hall
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#70. One Oxford poet confessed to me that I had been scary because I talked American and wore tennis shoes. - Author: Donald Hall
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#71. Some days I feel good about my work, and sometimes I feel I've never written anything worthwhile. That's par for the course. - Author: Donald Hall
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#72. It used to be that one poet in each generation performed poems in public. In the twenties, it was Vachel Lindsay, who sometimes dropped to his knees in the middle of a poem. Then Robert Frost took over, and made his living largely on the road. - Author: Donald Hall
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#73. And every year, Ronald McDonald takes the Pulitzer. - Author: Donald Hall
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#74. Today when I begin writing I'm aware: something that I don't understand drives this engine. - Author: Donald Hall
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#75. It used to be that phrases and lines would come into my head, often many of them in a period of five days or a week, and maybe I didn't know what I was talking about, but the words had a kind of heaviness or deliciousness to them. - Author: Donald Hall
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#76. In the fifties, no one wore beards. In Eisenhower's day, as in the time of the Founding Fathers, all chins were smooth, while during the Civil War, beards were as common as sepsis. - Author: Donald Hall
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#77. In 1952, I recited aloud for the first time, booming in Oxford's Sheldonian Theatre from a bad poem that had won a prize. I was twenty-three. - Author: Donald Hall
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#78. Chipmunks jump, and
greensnakes slither.
Rather burst than
not be with her.
Bluebirds fight, but
bears are stronger.
We've got fifty
years or longer.
Hoptoads hop, but
hogs are fatter.
Nothing else but
Us can matter. - Author: Donald Hall
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#79. The greatest kindness would put a bullet in his bright eye. - Author: Donald Hall
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#80. Virtually every beginning poet hurts himself by an addiction to adjectives. Verbs are by far the most important things for poems-especially wonderful tough monosyllables like "gasp" and "cry." Nouns are the next most important. Adjectives tend to be useless. - Author: Donald Hall
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#81. Mere literary talent is common; what is rare is endurance, the continuing desire to work hard at writing. - Author: Donald Hall
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#82. 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. - Author: Donald Hall
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#83. When we put words together - adjective with noun, noun with verb, verb with object - we start to talk to each other. - Author: Donald Hall
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#84. In football they measure forty-yard sprints. Nobody runs forty yards in basketball. Maybe you run the ninety-four feet of the court; then you stop, not on a dime, but on Miss Liberty's torch. In football you run over somebody's face. - Author: Donald Hall
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#85. 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. - Author: Donald Hall
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#86. Poetry offers works of art that are beautiful, like paintings, which are my second favorite work of the art, but there are also works of art that embody emotion and that are kind of school for feeling. They teach how to feel, and they do this by the means of their beauty of language. - Author: Donald Hall
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#87. Many times I have written something, and after it was published, I understood what I was saying. - Author: Donald Hall
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#88. Obviously, death is ahead of me. I don't look forward to dying one little bit. But, you know, I simply don't worry about it because it's going to happen to me as it does to anybody. - Author: Donald Hall
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#89. Friends die, friends become demented, friends quarrel, friends drift with old age into silence. - Author: Donald Hall
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#90. Nothing I do will make death disappear
Or let your shudder or your knowledge go.
See the world whole, and see it clearly then,
A globe of dirt crusted with bones of men.
If we walk, we walk on graves.
- from Shudder - Author: Donald Hall
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#91. Sweet death, small son, our instrument
Of immortality,
Your cries and hungers document
Our bodily decay. - Author: Donald Hall
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#92. Poetry is what I've done my whole life. And every important thing in my life had found itself into poems. - Author: Donald Hall
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#93. When I finished my initial year at Oxford, I flew home to marry Kirby, who had been my girlfriend in college. We had met on a blind date. - Author: Donald Hall
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#94. 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. - Author: Donald Hall
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#95. 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. - Author: Donald Hall
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#96. I don't publish anything I haven't worked over 100 times. - Author: Donald Hall
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#97. I don't have a computer. I never have had one. - Author: Donald Hall
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#98. As Henry Moore carved
or modelled his sculpture every day,
he strove to surpass Donatello
4. and failed, but woke the next morning
elated for another try. - Author: Donald Hall
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#99. In 2013 there were 7,427 poetry readings in April, many on a Thursday. For anyone born in 1928 who pays attention to poetry, the numerousness is astonishing. In April 1948, there were 15 readings in the United States, 12 by Robert Frost. So I claim. The figures are imaginary, but you get the point. - Author: Donald Hall
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#100. 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. - Author: Donald Hall
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