Donald Hall Essay - Hall, Donald (Vol. 1)

Hall, Donald (Vol. 1)

Hall, Donald 1928–

American poet and anthologist. (See also Contemporary Authors, Vols. 5-8, rev. ed.)

[The Yellow Room] is a relatively new kind of poetry for Donald Hall, but he handles it with authority. His surrealism is never merely opaque or pointless. Sometimes he can be funny, as with The Alligator Groom (a sequel to Hall's recent volume, The Alligator Bride), who acts as a comic alter-ego to the jilted narrator. Other poems are intensely moving, especially The Stones, an apotheosis of the affair which becomes "a rock island twelve miles offshore"….

[Hall] manages to create an affecting drama of the transition from the yellow room which is the private world of the lovers to the desolate island and monastic cell. Keeping his vision personal, without straining for generalities about love and loss, he writes honestly. The Yellow Room is a commendable attainment.

Phoebe Pettingell, "Plurality of Worlds" (© 1972 by The Modern Poetry Association; reprinted by permission of the Editor of Poetry), in Poetry, January, 1972, pp. 237-38.