Biography of Hazel Hall
Hazel Hall (February 7, 1886 – May 11, 1924) was an American poet based in Portland, Oregon.
Hall was born on February 7, 1886 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. As a young girl, she moved to Portland, Oregon with her family. After surviving scarlet fever at the age of twelve, she used wheelchair for the rest of her life. She worked as a seamstress, and in her twenties, she began writing poetry.
Her first published poem was "To an English Sparrow", which appeared in the Boston Evening Transcript in 1916. Her work appeared in The Century Magazine, Harper's Magazine, The New Republic, The Nation, Poetry, Yale Review, and Literary Review.
Reviewer Pearl Andelson of Poetry said this of Hall's first collection, Curtains, in 1922, "Comes Hazel Hall with her little book, every word and emotion of which is poignantly authentic."
She died on May 11, 1924 in Portland, Oregon.
Hazel Hall Poems
I have known hours built like cities, House on grey house, with streets between That lead to straggling roads and trail off,
Three school-girls pass this way each day: Two of them go in the fluttery way Of girls, with all that girlhood buys;
Sunlight Through A Window
Beauty streamed into my hand In sunlight through a pane of glass; Now at last I understand Why suns must pass.
I was sewing a seam one day. Just this way— Flashing four silver stitches there With thread, like this, fine as a hair,
Women who sing themselves to sleep Lie with their hands at rest, Locked over them night-long as though to keep Music against their breast.
A footstep sounded from the street... Listening, I knew of you! With the good singing of your feet You came in, too.
A Baby's Dress
It is made of finest linen— Sheer as wasp-wings; It is made with a flowing panel Down the front,
The Listening Macaws
Many sewing days ago I cross-stitched on a black satin bag Two listening macaws.
I am holding up a mirror to look at life; in my hand-glass I see a strange, hushed street below me Where people pass.
I have unleashed my hands, like hounds, And I must not call them back; They are off with virile bounds On the hidden quarry's track.
THERE is a woman who makes my eye A place of shadows, as now and then I see her dimly going by,
Things That Grow
I like things with roots that know the earth, Trees whose feet, nimble and brown, Wander around in the house of their birth
I had forgotten the gesture of branches Suddenly white, And I had forgotten the fragrance of blossoms
TIPTOEING twilight, Before you pass, Bathe light my spirit As dew bathes grass.
I have unleashed my hands, like hounds,
And I must not call them back;
They are off with virile bounds
On the hidden quarry's track.
Though there come rain or sun-
Fleet and lean and white,
They will follow the scent until they run
The quarry to earth, and the quarry is night.