Literature Annotations

Hall, Donald
Out the Window

On-Line Audio
Genre Essay (4 pp.)
KeywordsAging, Human Worth, Individuality, Loneliness, Mother-Son Relationship
SummaryThe writer Donald Hall gives us a lyrical armchair view through the windows of his house not only of the New Hampshire landscape, but also of his and his anscestors lives lived in that landscape. His honest and moving account from his 83rd year  is captured in the following: "I feel the circles grow smaller, and old age is a ceremony of losses, which is on the whole preferable to dying at forty-seven or fifty-two [the ages his wife Jane Kenyon died and his father died]. When I lament and darken over my diminishments, I accomplish nothing. It's better to sit at the window all day, pleased to watch the birds, barns, and flowers. It is a pleasure to write about what I do" (p.41).

Without is Hall's collection of poems that chronicles and poetically renders Hall’s living with the loss of his wife Jane Kenyon.

SourceThe New Yorker
Alternate EditionJanuary 23, 2012
Annotated by Kohn, Martin
Date of Entry 02/27/12
Last Revised 03/02/12