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Interviewing Ezra Pound


String Too Short to Be Saved and interviewing TS Eliot
Donald Hall Poet
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I wrote String Too Short to Be Saved, my first prose book, almost entirely in that house, and writing it in England, further away even than Michigan, was probably key. I did intend to do it that year... I wrote lots of poems... and poems... I wrote poems that in general I liked more than I did the earlier ones, that year in that house, and String Too Short to Be Saved. I worked on poems in the morning, and then I would go upstairs to the cold music room in the afternoon, and write the prose of String Too Short to Be Saved. And I also wrote other things and interviewed Moore.  But there was one more major event in... in that year. That year I was 39, and The Paris Review had had me interview TS Eliot a year or two earlier, and it had worked out very well. Interviewing Eliot was easy. I read everything and came up with a hundred questions or so, some of which I used, and just sat with him and talked, and he was very happy. It was after his second marriage - shortly after - and he was eloquent, and amused, and amusing, and he spoke in complete sentences, he spoke in paragraphs, like an Englishman, and there was very little that he wanted to revise from the transcript of the... of the interview. But then they wanted me to interview Ezra Pound.

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: String Too Short to Be Saved, England, Michigan, Paris Review, TS Eliot, Henry Moore, Ezra Pound

Duration: 1 minute, 45 seconds

Date story recorded: January 2005

Date story went live: 24 January 2008