Donald Hall Says “Thank You” Twice

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Donald Hall offers The New Yorker a series of reminiscences, observations and gentle declarations concerning the poetry reading, a beast he has come to know most intimately during his lifetime, both from the audience and the stage.

“Sound had always been my portal to poetry, but in the beginning sound was imagined through the eye. Gradually the mouth-juice of vowels, or mouth-chunk of consonants, gave body to poems in performance. Dylan Thomas showed the way. Charles Olson said that “form is never more than an extension of content.” Really, content is only an excuse for oral sex. The most erotic poem in English is ‘Paradise Lost.’”


Nikita Schoen is an intern at The Rumpus, and a Writing & Literature student at California College of the Arts. She lives in San Francisco. More from this author →