Eagle Pond

Donald Hall

Book cover

Not necessarily a book I would normally have picked up for myself, but Elise read it and thought I would like it too. It is a collection of (almost all) prose by the poet Donald Hall about living in an ancestral home in rural New Hampshire. I did enjoy it. I feel a certain attraction to living in the country, which hall clearly shares and plays upon with many nostalgic images. I especially enjoyed the essay about “mass class” and “class rusticus” (don’t remember the name off the top of my head) and the one called “Grandfathering.” Occasionally Hall grated on me with sentimentality that I thought went a little overboard, or with his predilection for poetic lists of the puffs, powders, patches, Bibles, billet-doux variety. I wish he had written a bit more interrogatively about the experience of being an “outsider” who made the active choice to move to the country, but I guess I can’t blame him for not writing the book I wish he had written.

My Goodreads rating: 4 stars