Friday, November 30, 2007

Breakfast served any time all day... but no trout

I think I like Donald Hall's essays more than his poetry, especially essays on poetry. Until I find a poem of his that blows me away. But right now I'm getting caught up on a collection of essays: Breakfast Served Any Time All Day: Essays on Poetry New and Selected, by Donald Hall; The University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2003. Mr. Hall, a recent poet laureate of the U.S., offered the following quote at the beginning of his book:
Whatever we think we write, with good fortune we write something else: The Muse is the Angel of Accident.

By William Trout, from Early Notebooks
Interesting! But who is William Trout. Sorry to say I don’t have a clue. A writer, of course. Essayist? Poet? Diarist? If Donald Hall quoted him, he must be a writer of some merit. I'm curious enough about the quotation to do some research. But I get no results from book search engines (,, etc.). I try with just the author name and with just the title of the piece quoted by Donald Hall. Nothing. I google various combinations of spellings and key words. Nothing again. No Trout. The elusive trout. I shall continue fishing, though.

Woodcut from Dame Juliana Berners’
A Treatyse of Fysshynge wyth an Angle

from the Milne Angling Collections
University of New Hampshire Library