J. C. Hall was first published at the age of seventeen when he had a poem included in the anthology ‘Best Poems of 1938’. He published poetry little by little through his life until his last collection ‘Long Shadows’ came out in 2003. He was included in Dannie Abse’s Mavericks anthology, as a non-modernist of the 50s. In his 1951 Collection ‘The Summer Dance and other poems’ there is an account of a visit, self-consciously in the footsteps of Coleridge to Alfoxton, Wordsworth’s Quantock home which he finds empty and abandoned.
I saw the house, just as the map foretold,
The gentle contours falling away
Through Kilve and Lilstock, fold upon fold,
To the dim vistas of Bridgwater Bay.
The house lies empty, even the mice are gone,
Only a dusty sunlight haunts the rooms.
We knock. Eternity echoes back upon
Our hearts, and a terrible loss consumes.
Since then Alfoxton was redecorated to become a hotel for a few decades, but is now abandoned and empty again, although it was sold at auction to a new owner late in 2017.