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Poetry readings: The Day I Was Older - The Pond, The Day and The Cup


Poetry readings: The Day I Was Older - The Clock and The News
Donald Hall Poet
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The Clock

The clock on the parlor wall. Stout as a mariner’s clock,

disperses the day. All night it tolls the half hour

and the hour’s number with resolute measure,

approaching the poles and crossing the equator

over fathoms of sleep. Warm

in the dark next to your breathing,

below the thousand favoured stars, I feel

horns of gray water heave

underneath us, and the ship’s pistons

pound as the voyage continues over the limited sea.


The News

After tending the fire, making coffee, and pouring milk

for cats, I sit in a blue chair each morning,

reading obituaries in the Boston Globe

for the mean age; today there is MANUFACTURER CONCORD 53,


that Emily Farr is dead, after a long illness in Oregon.

Once in the old house we talked for an hour, while a coal fire

brightened in November twilight and wavered

our shadows high on the wall

until our eyes fixed on each other. Thirty years ago.

The 14th US Poet Laureate Donald Hall (1928-2018) was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy, then earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard in 1951 and a BLitt, from Oxford in 1953. He published many essays and anthologies of both poetry and prose including String too Short to be Saved: Recollections of Summers on a New England Farm, White Apples and the Taste of Stone, Without: Poems, and Ox-Cart Man, a children's book which won the Caldecott Medal. Hall was editor of the magazine Oxford Poetry, literary editor of Isis, editor of New Poems, and poetry editor of The Paris Review. He won many awards, including two Guggenheim Fellowships and a Robert Frost Medal. At the end of his first Oxford year, he also won the university's Newdigate Prize, awarded for his poem Exile.

Listeners: Kendel Currier

Kendel Currier started working for Donald Hall in August of 1994 as his correspondence typist. Later she took on his manuscript typing as well, and in October of 1998 moved 100 meters down the road from Donald and became his personal assistant, adding many various new tasks to her work. As well as working for Donald for the last 10 and-a-half years, Donald Hall and Kendel Currier share a set of great (or for Kendel great-great) grandparents, making them distant cousins and part of a similar New Hampshire heritage.

Tags: The Clock, The News, The Day I Was Older, Emily Farr, Oregon, The Boston Globe

Duration: 1 minute, 25 seconds

Date story recorded: January 2005

Date story went live: 24 January 2008