Donald Hall Amid the Sunflowers

One of the most significant and awarded poets of his generation, Donald Hall served as Poet Laureate from 2006 to 2007. Like Robert Fitzgerald before him, Hall’s laureateship was severely limited due to health and mobility issues and can be seen as one of many end-of-career accolades. Indeed what followed were many years of valedictory publications, readings and celebrations, including a memorable evening in July of 2012 as Hall read outdoors at the Sunken Garden Reading Series in Farmington, Connecticut. Many of those on hand that evening where aware this would be one of the last opportunities to hear this poet, one of the last living connections to the Robert Frost era (Hall was mentored by Frost early in his career), read his own poetry. The scene of that evening was unforgettable, as Hall, barbate like the 19th century poets of old and wreathed in magnificent open sunflowers, read his most well-known poems to the appreciative audience.

Donald Hall reading at the Sunken Garden Reading Series, Farmington, Connecticut, July 25, 2012. Photo by Dan Vera.