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.