The revered American Poet Laureate reflects on the meaning of work, solitude, and love with “extraordinary nobility and wisdom” (The New York Times) When Donald Hall moved to his grandparents’ New Hampshire farm in 1975, his work as a writer and a life devoted to the literary arts must have seemed remote from the harsh physical labor of his ancestors. However, he reveals a similar kind of artistry in the lives of his grandparents, Kate and Wesley. From them, he learned that the devotion to craft—be it canning vegetables, writing poems, or carting manure—creates its own special discipline and an ‘absorbedness’ that no wage can compensate. In this “sustained meditation on work as the key to personal happiness” (Los Angeles Times), we see how the writer has modeled his own life on his family’s lives of work, solitude, and love. When Hall comes face to face with his own mortality halfway through writing this book, we understand both his obsession with work and its ultimate consolation.