Upon his return to the USA, he was unable to re-adjust to an American society which had sent its men to fight across the Atlantic, yet had been untouched by the war and had no comprehension of the horror which had taken place. Sound familiar?
Nordhoff felt the same and both men moved to Tahiti in 1920 to write articles for Harper's magazine. Hall married and had two children. He lived in Tahiti for most of his adult life in Arue (pronounced ah-roo-eh), just outside Papeete. Nordhoff and Hall wrote twelve books together. Some were made into movies. Hall wrote some seventeen books of his own. A few were about the war, the others were novels about the South Pacific.
I recommend any and all of them to anyone with an interest in the South Seas, though many are now out of print.
As much of his work as I have read, I came across this poem for the first time just the other day. It is like a window into the man's soul and I find it very thought provoking.
A Starry Night at Arue
These are my beliefs, in eight and twenty lines:
That men are nobler than their actions show;
That “Beauty is Truth” defined and still defines
As much of the ultimate truth as we shall know;
That ever-questing Science yet may bare
Much that is strange and new, and after all
Her farthest flights, that Man will stand and stare,
Awed and humbled, at the self-same wall
That hemmed him round when once he lived in trees;
That littleness makes still the happiest nation;
That states do wrong to emulate the bees
In industry, the ants in population;
That of men’s crimes against themselves, the latest,
Distance conquered, is among the greatest;
That Reason is a rock no more than Feeling
(Intuition is a safer guide);
That those who make a god of Reason, kneeling
Devout, are not the wholly sane, clear-eyed
Beings they fondly think; that cocks will crow
At dawn, as now, in twice ten thousand years,
Changelessness a changing world to show;
That men will still shed blood and women tears
As long as there are tears and blood to shed;
That joy has lunar months as well as grief.
When everything is said that can be said,
This is my sure, my very firm belief:
That life, to one born whole, is worth the living,
Well worth the taking, having, and the giving.