Slate has a wonderful article by Johanna Winant, All Our Work Holds Good, about poet Donald Hall's Ox-Cart Man. Among other things, Winant describes how the text of the book was originally a slightly different poem with a different tone.
Donald Hall died last month.
I loved this book when my children were young. I saw it as a tribute to everyday life, something I'm interested in with art. (By the way, Barbara Cooney won the Caldecott Medal for her illustrations for this book.) I read the book a number of times with my kids and think it's time to gift a copy to some other family members.