Past and future wars, by Donald Hall

Donald Hall has a new book out, which is always an occasion for celebration around these parts.

Here's a sample poem from Poetry Daily, in which in his characteristically light, quick way, Hall brings together his future (in the past) and his past (in his present-day memory): 

Backchamber The Bone Ring

The summer when I saw the Trylon and Perisphere,
I sat on the farm porch with my great-uncle Luther,
who told me that when he was nine he watched
the soldier boys walking back home from Virginia.

Then the new war started, and always another war.

He showed me family keepsakes from the attic—
a top hat his father wore, a bugle, and remnants
that emptied the pockets of a cousin killed at Shiloh:
a button, a spoon, and a ring carved out of bone.

Donald Hall

The Back Chamber
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

[The Trylon and the Perisphere were futuristic exhibits at the l939 World's Fair, Wikipedia tells us helpfully…and so in this one quick sketch, we see the end of one war, and the spectre of one to come.]

Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: