—WITHOUT AND WITHIN
THERE WAS A CERTAIN SYMMETRY about it. My first visit to Donald Hall's home at Eagle Pond had been in autumn, though in the New Hampshire hills winter announces its approach early on. Hall's wife, the poet Jane Kenyon, had been away that day but as I was given a tour of the house and its surroundings I noticed signs of her presence everywhere I looked. She too was an exceptional writer, someone I hoped eventually to include in my interview series. But I didn't worry; there'd be time.
With Hall, I discussed how rooted to this bit of the earth he and Jane had become over the years, how it was a presence in much of their work. Work, weather, memory, the resonance of place, and of course love—we spoke of how these elemental experiences seemed even more precious now that his cancer may have drawn a boundary line on what he might expect to enjoy. Yet it was a wonderful conversation, one that led to a friendship through correspondence and occasional visits as the years passed.
Now, once again, I drove along the twisting country road and saw the