Thursday, June 15, 2006

Into Hall

Je Suis Une Table

by Donald Hall *

It has happened suddenly,
by surprise, in an arbor,
or while drinking good coffee,
after speaking, or before,

that I dumbly inhabit
a density; in language,
there is nothing to stop it,
for nothing retains an edge.

Simple ignorance presents,
later, words for a function,
but it is common pretense
of speech, by a convention,

and there is nothing at all
but inner silence, nothing
to relieve on principle
now this intense thickening.

* From White Apples and the Taste of Stone : Selected Poems 1946-2006

"Donald Hall was born in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1928, the only child of Donald Andrew Hall (a businessman) and his wife Lucy (née Wells). He was educated at Phillips Exeter, New Hampshire, and at the Universities of Harvard, Oxford and Stanford.

Hall began writing even before reaching his teens, beginning with poems and short stories, and then moving on to novels and dramatic verse. He recalls the powerful influence on his youthful imagination of Edgar Allan Poe: 'I wanted to be mad, addicted, obsessed, haunted and cursed. I wanted to have deep eyes that burned like coals - profoundly melancholic, profoundly attractive.' "

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