The Selected Poems of Donald Hall

by Donald Hall

The essential poems, selected by Donald Hall: “the hard-won achievement of a lifetime” (Wall Street Journal)

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9781328745606
  • ISBN-10: 1328745600
  • Pages: 160
  • Publication Date: 11/07/2017
  • Carton Quantity: 48

About the book

“The hard-won achievement of a lifetime.” — Wall Street Journal 


“When I was twelve I wrote my first poem, and by fourteen I decided that’s what I’d do my whole life. I don’t regret it.” — from the afterword by Donald Hall 


Donald Hall was an American master, one of the nation’s most beloved and accomplished poets. Here, in his eighties, having taken stock of the body of his work—rigorous, gorgeous verse that is the result of seventy years of “ambition and pleasure”—he strips it down.  


The Selected Poems of Donald Hall reflects the poet’s handpicked, concise selection, showcasing work rich with humor and Eros and “a kind of simplicity that succeeds in engaging the reader in the first few lines” (Billy Collins). 


From the enduring “My Son My Executioner” to “Names of Horses” to “Without,” Donald Hall’s best poems deliver “a banquet in the mouth” (Charles Simic) and an “aching elegance” (Baltimore Sun). For the first-time reader or an old friend, these are, above all others, the poems to read, reread, and remember.

About the author
Donald Hall

DONALD HALL (1928-2018) served as poet laureate of the United States from 2006 to 2007. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a recipient of the National Medal of the Arts, awarded by the president.




Pale gold of the walls, gold 

of the centers of daisies, yellow roses 

pressing from a clear bowl. All day 

we lay on the bed, my hand 

stroking the deep 

gold of your thighs and your back. 

We slept and woke 

entering the golden room together, 

lay down in it breathing 

quickly, then 

slowly again, 

caressing and dozing, your hand sleepily 

touching my hair now. 


We made in those days 

tiny identical rooms inside our bodies 

which the men who uncover our graves 

will find in a thousand years, 

shining and whole.