Cover image for Breakfast served any time all day : essays on poetry new and selected
Breakfast served any time all day : essays on poetry new and selected
Hall, Donald, 1928-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
220 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3515.A3152 B74 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Breakfast Served Any Time All Daycollects forty years of writings on poetry in one essential volume by master of American letters Donald Hall. Praise forBreakfast Served: ". . . the essays in this book are engaging, passionate, strange, and unified. Hall has been around a long time, and you can trace the concerns of a generation through the mind of this one man: questions about the diminished scope of poetry, the diminished ambitions of poets, how a poem 'means,' etc. . . . . Criticism . . . is an exercise in sanity, of which these essays are a splendid and useful example." -Poetry "A luminous and essential volume about the sensuality of language, its pleasures and sounds." -Ploughshares "It is in this merger of a poet's biography and a poem's body that Hall does his best work. . . . [Breakfast Served Any Time All Day] has an undeniably infectious quality to it. Finishing it, you cannot help but want to return to your bookshelf, and read-again or for the first time-the great forgotten poems of our past." -Nathan Greenwood Thompson,Rain Taxi

Author Notes

Donald Andrew Hall Jr. was born in New Haven, Connecticut on September 20, 1928. He received a bachelor's degree from Harvard University in 1951. His first collection of poetry, Exiles and Marriages, was published in 1955. His other collections included Without, The Museum of Clear Ideas, and The Painted Bed. He received several awards including the National Book Critics Circle Award for The One Day, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for The Happy Man, the Poetry Society of America's Robert Frost Silver medal, and the Ruth Lilly Prize for poetry. He served as poetry editor of The Paris Review from 1953 to 1962 and was the United States poet laureate for 2006-2007.

He was also a memoirist, an essayist, and the author of textbooks and children's books. His memoirs were entitled Life Work and Unpacking the Boxes. His children's book, Ox-Cart Man illustrated by Barbara Cooney, won the Caldecott Medal. He received a National Medal of Arts in 2011. He died on June 23, 2018 at the age of 89.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

In this lively collection, poet Hall, a recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award and two Guggenheim fellowships, collects 40 years of writing about poetry, poets, and the challenges of the genre. Hall's understanding of verse "has moved from a consideration of process-how does a poem begin and how does it embody inwardness?-to concentrate on the physical and psychic effects of poems, their sounds and the intimacies of verbal construction." In other words, Hall stresses the importance of rhythm and the benefits from absorbing poetry not with the ears or the eyes but with the mouth because it "cherish[es] vowel and consonant." Writing with a keen understanding and deep appreciation of poetry, Hall has the courage to take on the workshop establishment as well as critics who claim that poetry is deliberately obscure. His essays are intended for the general reader who wants to become more familiar with the form. A pleasure to read, this is recommended for all academic libraries and for public libraries with large poetry collections.-Pam Kingsbury, Univ. of North Alabama, Florence (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
The Unsayable Saidp. 1
Death to the Death of Poetryp. 7
Metallic Flowersp. 15
The Expression without the Songp. 20
The Vatic Voicep. 27
Goatfoot, Milktongue, Twinbirdp. 31
Journal Notesp. 41
Marvell's Manynessp. 59
Long Robinsonp. 70
Robert Frost Corruptedp. 81
Pound's Soundsp. 100
Kenneth Rexrothp. 106
James Wright: Lament for a Makerp. 115
William Carlos Williams and the Visualp. 132
Pythagoras, Form, and Free Versep. 138
Notes on the Imagep. 143
Theory x Theoryp. 147
Poetry and Ambitionp. 154
Polonius's Advice to Young Poetsp. 171
Starting and Keeping Onp. 175
Hall's Indexp. 180
Size and Scalep. 187
Naming the Skinp. 190
On Moving One's Lips, While Readingp. 206
The Way to Say Pleasurep. 211