Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Henry Moore's Secret

From Donald Hall, Life Work. Boston MA: Beacon Press, 1993, pp. 53-54—

[The last time American poet Donald Hall saw British sculptor Henry Moore, the latter] talked about his new grandson and showed us drawings in a studio he had just built to extend his workday. We sat with a drink in the sunny living room he had added to the house which, when he moved to it during the war, had been a broken-down farmworker's cottage. I knew my man, and I asked him, "Now that you're eighty, you must know the secret of life. What is the secret of life?" With anyone else the answer would have begun with an ironic laugh, but Henry Moore answered me straight: "The secret of life is to have a task, something you devote your entire life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for your whole life. And the most important thing is—it must be something you cannot possibly do!"