Poet Donald Hall:  ‘Old Age Is a Ceremony of Losses’

Poet Donald Hall: ‘Old Age Is a Ceremony of Losses’



I had a student way back from his first teaching in Bob Shaye a couple of years ago he called me up and wanted to come and see me with a friend of his and I had no idea that he was a famous singer Roger Waters basis for the Pink Floyd and then came a box for the house I had never seen an iPod before and every Tuesday and Thursday morning I go on the bicycle for 15 minutes and I plug in to ruff Roger you women with hats like the rear ends of pink ducks applauded you my poems these are the women whose husbands I meet on airplanes who close their briefcases and ask what are you in I look in their eyes I tell them I'm in poetry Bob Dylan color Nobel Prize in Literature but his his lyrics are love poems they do not work with our music to me the way into the pawn it's a sound it makes but it's not musical time and what about you you laughing you in the blue jeans not forget your mother who wears hats and that your father who rides airplanes with a briefcase watching his grammar will you ever be old and dumb like her creepy parents not you not you not you not you not you [Applause] at a v8 I'm solitary each season my balance gets worse sometimes I fall old age is a ceremony of losses i watch out the window please to March burns barns and flowers I love throwing no I watch her white landscape – turns pale green dark green yellow and red brown under bare branches until snow falls again whatever the season i watch Saban over 80 years it is change from a working bond to a bond from looking at j-jane Yin was my student you smart she wrote poems later I asked her to dinner which in 1970 always included breakfast one night we spoke of marriage quickly we changed the subject because I was 19 years older and if we married she would be a widow so long for almost 20 years I woke before Jane and brought her coffee in bed now it is April and Jane has been dead for more than two decades now and then especially at night solitude loses its soft power and loneliness takes over I am grateful when solitude returns it's an entertaining email about from dick ruffridge about all the other Donald halls who write books there is one okay so there Donald's halls everywhere I am taking Carol by women and only by women Kendall every day Carol three times a week then Pam the mail doesn't read about little lorries in the denver post office somebody went there and speaking of me and they said oh yeah halls harem in the new book I think I've got a dedicated to four women and the beginning I went from woman a woman because I couldn't stand the notion of a book being married again or settling when one woman ever again I have had other girlfriends and I've had the same girlfriend now for whole maybe seventeen years in the role she knows Linda knows that Jane is the love of my life but he is remarkably without jealousy I don't believe that a day has gone by in 22 years when I have not thought of Jane I went to the grave about four times a day and talked to her my companion was her absence [Applause] earlier this year I grieve for her in a way I had never grieved before I was sick and thought I was dying every day of her dying I stayed by her side a year and a half it was miserable that James had died so young and it was redemptive that I could be with her every hour of every day last January I grieved then this time that you would not sit beside me as I died you

31 thoughts on “Poet Donald Hall: ‘Old Age Is a Ceremony of Losses’

  1. RIP to an American treasure. I first saw him in Ken Burns’ Baseball as a 15 year old kid in 1994. His writing was beautiful. Seeing him look like Albus Dumbledore before his death seems fitting because he always had a wisdom that belied age.

  2. The sadness of this … sometimes I think it's the saddest thing I've ever seen. Sometimes I think it's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

  3. as i light the candle
    to the north
    behind the glaze of breath
    upon the window pane
    beneath blackwatchcap
    his longlost face startles
    is it me or he who's changed

  4. Beautifully put — '' old age is a ceremony of loses ''… missed opportunities, regrets, mistakes, what might have been…

  5. We send our children to be brainwashed. For instance; Slavery happened all over the world, not just in the “once” majority white nations. If blacks believe their ancestors were Egyptians, then they had the most slaves throughout history. Whites were the first to abolish slavery. More whites were brought as slaves in North Africa than blacks brought as slaves to the United States or to the 13 colonies from which it was formed. White slaves were still being bought and sold in the Ottoman Empire, decades after blacks were freed in the United States. When slavery was at its peak only 1.4% (the wealthy) in America actually owned a black slave. Anyone who was not from England who came into this country was treated poorly. Anyone looking back on history can see that only the rich controls everything. Maybe it’s time that all changed. It wouldn’t be hard to change it.

    Brazil was the last country in the Western world to abolish slavery. By the time it was abolished, in 1888, an estimated four million slaves had been imported from Africa to Brazil, 40% of the total number of slaves brought to the Americas. For reference, the United States received 10 percent.

    Of all the African slaves that were ever taken from Africa for slavery 85% of them, (The Majority of them) were not a part of the Atlantic Slave Trade, they were the Arab Slave Trade. LOOK IT UP!!!

    Of the 180 Million that was taken in the Arab slave trade only 27 million survived. 152 million did not. Before blacks could even step foot on Arabic land they had their genitals cut off with no form of medication or antibiotics to help them. If the women got pregnant, they would let them have their babies and then kill the women after. So, 90% of African slaves died in the Arab slave trade compared to the 10% in the Atlantic slave trade. There are so many more facts that are never mentioned. The majority of blacks alive today believe “the White man” is to blame for everything, but they have no clue about the facts because they have been brainwashed, as are the whites who feel guilty about something that happened before they were even thought about. There is a major stereotype going on, and the elites obviously want whites gone. Think about what is going to happen where whites are gone…. Just look at the countries that have no whites and you will see.

    Most of the slaves in the Atlantic Slave Trade went to Brazil and the Caribbean. SO why is it that America is to bear the majority of the blame for slavery? It is not just America, but it is only the (Once majority white countries) around the world. The black slaves that came to America had the lowest majority of all, yet look what is being taught in our schools. Ask people living in America what they know about slavery, I bet they know nothing. I am not even speaking about the blacks who owned black slaves in their own land. Look up the first man to legally own a black slave in America and you will find Anthony Johnson, a (Black man) who wanted his slaves documented. The people need to wake up and see, we are all puppets on strings, being played like a fiddle, for the elites. When I say elites I am thinking of those who own and run all nations, those criminals behind the monetary system we choose to be enslaved by today. Why aren’t these facts taught in school? It would certainly be a different world today if people just simply knew the facts.

    Modern slavery is a brutal reality around the world. The 2016 Global Slavery Index published by the Walk Free Foundation estimates that 45.8 million people are in some form of
    Slavery in 167 countries. 58 percent of people in slavery are living in just five countries: India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Uzbekistan. The history we learn about in our schools is biased. You cannot expect people to take accountability for things that have happened before they were even born, especially when you take no accountability for things you do yourself today.

    Why the hell do we allow this to take place in our own country? I never see us going to any other country and making the place UNSAFE…. START FIGHTING the DAMN SYSTEM and UNITE White People!!!

  6. Most English lirycs are not poetic like in Spanish the lirycs most of the time by default have to be poetic other wise is tasteless
    Grey and right down stupid.
    Not English were you only trow some frases or every once in a while.

  7. Life….and its inevitable companion, death. All of us, including animals, come alone and go alone to and from this world. As such, the very nature of life and death is lonliness. We try to deny this immutable law of nature by surrounding ourselves with people(family, friends, relatives etc) and even pets, and try to keep ourselves busy with frivolous matters and events. But in the end, everyone of us, King or a hobo on the street, is confronted with this reality. Only by understanding the nature of our existence(that it is brief, painful and lonely), can we appreciate the life given to us more…

  8. I can only think that, were it not for her death at a relatively young age, she'd have left him. So, he is left with with sweet remembrance of love lost instead of love lost to betrayal.

  9. The moral of this film for me: Love and appreciate the special people in your life..for one day they won't be here..and all you will be left with are memories. 😞

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