Former US poet laureate and "all-around man of literary distinction" Donald Hall, age 82, was recently invited to the White House and awarded the National Medal of Arts by the president.
Alexandra Petri, "ComPost" blogger, who must have been absent the day they covered courtesy and respect for one's elders, decided that he looked so dang funny with his long hair and beard that she just had to invite her mannerless readers to join her in making fun of him. I'm guessing they have no idea who he is.
From Mr. Hall's Wikipedia page:
To date, Hall has published fifteen books of poetry, most recently White Apples and the Taste of Stone (2006), The Painted Bed (2002) and Without: Poems (1998), which was published on the third anniversary of Jane Kenyon's death. Most of the poems in Without deal with Kenyon's illness and death, and many are epistolary poems. In addition to poetry, he has also written several collections of essays (among them Life Work and String Too Short to be Saved), children's books (notably Ox-Cart Man, which won the Caldecott Medal), and a number of plays. His recurring themes include New England rural living, baseball, and how work conveys meaning to ordinary life. He is regarded as a master both of received forms and free verse, and a champion of the art of revision, for whom writing is a craft, not merely a mode of self-expression. Hall has won many awards, including two Guggenheim Fellowships and a Robert Frost Medal, and has served as poet laureate of his state. He continues to live and work at Eagle Pond Farm.In addition to all of the above, Mr. Hall wrote Writing Well, a widely used college writing text. Ox-Cart Man, mentioned above, is a beautifully constructed, beautifully illustrated poem. Somewhere in the house we have a tape of the author reading it.
When not working on poems, he has turned his hand to reviews, criticism, textbooks, sports journalism, memoirs, biographies, children's stories, and plays. He has also devoted a lot of time to editing: between 1983 and 1996 he oversaw publication of more than sixty titles for the University of Michigan Press alone. He was for five years Poet Laureate of his home state, New Hampshire (1984–89), and can list among the many other honours and awards to have come his way: the Lamont Poetry Prize for Exiles and Marriages (1955), the Edna St Vincent Millay Award (1956), two Guggenheim Fellowships (1963–64, 1972–73), inclusion on the Horn Book Honour List (1986), the Sarah Josepha Hale Award (1983), the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize (1987), the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry (1988), the NBCC Award (1989), the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in poetry (1989), and the Frost Medal (1990). He has been nominated for the National Book Award on three separate occasions (1956, 1979 and 1993). In 1994, he received the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for his lifetime achievement.
Sarah Palin, via Twitter, asks: "WaPo, you're through. Have u no shame?"
Not so you'd notice. Read the rest of Philip Terzian's fitting take-down here.
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