Poetry Wednesday

It must be the three weeks of rain that have me in this dark mood, or perhaps it’s just my personality.  What do you think?  Discuss.

Today I’m posting poems by Jane Kenyon.   Kenyon, a resident of New Hampshire, was a brilliant poet who at times was overshadowed by her more famous husband Donald Hall.  She died of cancer in the ’90s, leaving behind a small but powerful body of work.  (And I personally prefer her writing to her husband’s, though his work is quite amazing as well.)

What I love about Kenyon’s poems are her rich images of nature, and the way she intertwines a personal mysticism with her surroundings.  As a New Englander who spent her fair share of summers in New Hampshire, I adore the familiar world Kenyon moves in.    Both of these poems come from her collection, Let Evening Come (Graywolf Press, 1990).



In the Grove:  The Poet at Ten


She lay on her back in the timothy

and gazed past the doddering

auburn heads of sumac.


A cloud — huge, calm,

and dignified — covered the sun

but did not, could not, put it out.


The light surged back again.


Nothing could rouse her then

from that joy so violent

it was hard to distinguish from pain.



Let Evening Come


Let the light of late afternoon

shine through chinks in the barn, moving

up the bales as the sun moves down.


Let the cricket take up chafing

as a woman takes up her needles

and her yarn.  Let evening come.


Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned

in long grass.  Let the stars appear

and the moon disclose her silver horn.


Let the fox go back to its sandy den.

Let the wind die down.  Let the shed

go black inside.  Let evening come.


To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop

in the oats, to the air in the lung

let evening come.


Let it come, as it will, and don’t

be afraid.  God does not leave us

comfortless, so let evening come.


2 thoughts on “Poetry Wednesday

  1. Beautiful. Yes, it has been rainy for….forever…..but there are peaks of sun……….After the clouds and storm the rainbow appears……xo

  2. Lovely! These past weeks have made my brain soggy. I feel tired and unhappy. I try to remember that the rain makes the world around me green , lush and allows me to take long showers without worrying about running out of water. But I yern for a few sunny days.

    Two Poems to ponder:

    I Like it When It’s Mizzly

    I like it when it’s mizzly
    and just a little drizzly
    so everything looks far away
    and make-believe and frizzly.

    I like when it’s foggy
    and sounding very froggy.
    I even like it when it rains
    on streets and weepy windowpanes
    and catkins in the poplar tree
    and me.

    The Road Not Taken
    By Robert Frost

    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that, the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

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