Poet Donald Hall Inspires Nieman Fellows

Pride, Mike
September 2006
Nieman Reports;Fall2006, Vol. 60 Issue 3, p91
The article features poet Donald Hall and highlights his attributes and practices that journalists can learn from. Hall has been the Nieman Fellows' poet laureate for more than a decade. Hall is obsessive about revision, sometimes writing more than 100 drafts of a poem. Journalists, despite lacking the luxury of perpetual revision, can help themselves by thinking like a poet. The comparison of poet Robert Frost with Hall is the central role of sound in their poetry. Because poetry is the purest form of verbal expression, Hall is always quick to condemn dead metaphors in poems. In journalism, because journalists are writing the first rough draft of history, they are highly susceptible to using dead metaphors.


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