June 25, 2012 A Set of Seasons

Dear readers,

Donald Hall has been writing poetry since he was 12. He was born in 1928. So he’s been writing poetry since about 1940. Wow, imagine the changes in a writer’s landscape since then. At Harvard, Hall studied alongside Adrienne Rich, Robert Bly, Frank O’Hara, and John Ashbery. He’s written a fair amount of what could be called nature poetry, and his early work had a strongly formalist bent–lots of rhyme and even line lengths. He was appointed the U.S poet laureate in 2006.
Since I’ve been MIA for about 3 weeks, I was looking for something to mark our entry into–calendrically speaking–summer. The poem here, written in the mid-1950’s, is a general reflection but has a summery feel. -ed.
He suspects that the seasons
Are not as they should be. How
Should he know that seasons
Are not to be suspected?
This gelatin of air
And splendid haze infers
Mistaken complements
To circumstance and phrase.
How should he come to know?
And how to score the seasons,
When he is making them
As red as grass, backwards?
Sir, the beginnings of pleasure
Erupt from the green and the red,
Scored in the head as grass,
Seasonal, unsuspected.

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