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Hall’s elegiac poetry and prose teach grim lessons that are worth heeding, but there is also a sort of unsentimental, necessary hope—a hope for continuity and unexpected rebirth, a hope that keeps open a sense of possibility—that shines obscurely beneath their grief.
Jane Kenyon was foremost a poet of place. Not of the State of New Hampshire, though she was its Poet Laureate, but of the much smaller and less abstract corner of it in and around Eagle Pond.
When Donald Hall passed away last week the obituary in his local New Hampshire newspaper made clear what an exceptional and instructive life he...