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012  Chiasson, Dan.  "The View from Eagle Pond Farm."  New York Times Book Review July 9, 2006: 12.

"There are two kinds of poets: the ones who tell stories, and the ones about whom the stories get told," Dan Chiasson states as he introduces Donald Hall--poet, critic, anthologist, editor, poet laureate--as one who tells stories.  In this "voluminous" new book he tells tales of high-culture figures such as T. S. Eliot and Henry Moore, tales of local heroes such as his Aunt Liz, tales of jazz players, baseball stars, tales of the notorious and the unsung.  The best way to make it into a Hall poem, according to Chiasson, is to die.  Even the Buick dies.  When he moved to Eagle Pond Farm over thirty years ago, he seemed to be moving into elegy land.  In the midst of "his element" his second wife, Jane Kenyon, contracted leukemia.  Nearly everyone who has read the poems he wrote about her last days, her death, and his ensuing loneliness agrees they are "terrific art."  They tell a story that is "essentially reassuring: art and love are compatible, genius is compatible, and people stand by one another in the end."


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