Donald Hall

(20 September 1928 - / Hamden / Connecticut)

Ox Cart Man - Poem by Donald Hall

In October of the year,
he counts potatoes dug from the brown field,
counting the seed, counting
the cellar's portion out,
and bags the rest on the cart's floor.

He packs wool sheared in April, honey
in combs, linen, leather
tanned from deerhide,
and vinegar in a barrel
hoped by hand at the forge's fire.

He walks by his ox's head, ten days
to Portsmouth Market, and sells potatoes,
and the bag that carried potatoes,
flaxseed, birch brooms, maple sugar, goose
feathers, yarn.

When the cart is empty he sells the cart.
When the cart is sold he sells the ox,
harness and yoke, and walks
home, his pockets heavy
with the year's coin for salt and taxes,

and at home by fire's light in November cold
stitches new harness
for next year's ox in the barn,
and carves the yoke, and saws planks
building the cart again.

Comments about Ox Cart Man by Donald Hall

  • Susan Williams (9/14/2018 10:16:00 PM)

    part 4 taking so many comments to say this but these classic poems jump from poem to poem and I can't keep up with them (Report)Reply

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  • Susan Williams (9/14/2018 10:15:00 PM)

    Part 3 missing in the life spent in pursuit of riches. I give this a million starry-eyed 10's! ! ! ! Sorry fo (Report)Reply

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  • Susan Williams (9/14/2018 10:13:00 PM)

    Part Two. far more than the lifestyle of the rich and famous. There is a peace and a tranquility of soul here that (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Susan Williams (9/14/2018 10:11:00 PM)

    This is literature from the first line to the last.The life of this ox cart man appeals to me (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
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Poem Submitted: Friday, March 16, 2012

Poem Edited: Friday, March 16, 2012

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