Letter in Autumn by Donald Hall Essay

Letter in Autumn by Donald Hall Essay

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In 1995 Donald Hall wrote a poem called “Letter in Autumn” where he expressed his emotions of losing a loved one. Donald Hall was able to do so by writing down important moments in his life after losing that person. I believe that Donald Hall wrote this poem to his wife about his grief from losing her and how he’s having a hard time moving on with his own life afterwards.
The narrative voice in this poem is Donald Hall and he wrote this poem in first person narrative. “The first October of your death/ I sit in my blue chair” (Donald 1-2) Here, Donald Hall starts the poem off by telling the reader that this poem is about a death and that it is about his own life because of his use of “I” in line 2 which indicates that it is in first person narrative. When he used the word “your” it shows that he is writing this to the person who passed away. It also shows that the death occurred less than a year ago because this was the “first October” since the death.
Although this poem has some ambiguity because Donald Hall never mentioned who this woman that passed away was, I think that he gave enough hints to be able to tell that it was his wife. “ I collected hairpins and hair ties/ In the Hill’s Balsam tin/ Where you collected silver for tolls”(14-16) This was the first indication that the person who passed away was a woman, because he collected hairpins and hair ties and he was cleaning out her car after she passed away which means she was very close to him.
Hall wrote about a dream he had about his wife and I think this was a way of showing some insight of how he feels.
As I slept last night:
You leap from our compartment
In an underground railroad yard
And I follow; behind us the train
clatters and sways; I turn
and turn again to s...


... middle of paper ...


...l wants nothing more but to be back with his wife, Jane. “I wish you were that birch/ rising from the clump behind you,/ and I the gray oak alongside.” (102-104) I think that in these lines of the poem he wishes for him and his late wife to be like the new trees growing, starting everything over again and be rooted to the ground so nothing bad can happen again.
In “ Letter in Autumn” Donald Hall expresses his love for his deceased wife, Jane. The memories of his wife and the symbolism of things that surround him such as her old car, baseball, his family, his dog Gus, her personal belongings, their shared bed, and her grave, all make it very hard for him to move on with his life. I believe that this poem was a letter to his wife so he can express himself to her and it shows his inability to move on from the tragedy.



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"Letters in Autumn" by Donald Hall

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