Sunday, November 8, 2015

Ox-Cart Man, by Donald Hall

A few years ago I stumbled upon Ox-Cart Man, by contemporary poet Donald Hall.  I knew Hall's work ("Summer Kitchen" is a poem that has lived on my refrigerator for months at a time at various times of my life) and was intrigued by the fact that he'd written a children's book, and even more intrigued when I saw that Barbara Cooney had illustrated it.  As soon as I read it I knew we'd found a classic.

Hall's language is sparse and poetic.  His description of the ox-cart man's simple, resourceful life of making, harvesting, and selling resonated with me.  The book's pace is slow and calm.  I am happy to read it as many times as my children want; it's wonderful. 

So imagine my delight when I found "Ox-Cart Man", a poem by Donald Hall, in my contemporary poetry book from college a few days ago!  I stopped everything, called the children to me, and read it aloud. It's a wonderful poem in its own right. I was giddy over this find!

Here is where you can hear Donald Hall reading the original poem.  

And finally, this week while I was doing my work I found my copy of Hall's Seasons at Eagle Pond.  I brought it upstairs to rest in a place of honor in the barrister's bookcase in my living room, where I can pull it out and enjoy it as the seasons change. 

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