poetry post: Jane Kenyon

Kinda went on a Jane Kenyon binge yesterday afternoon — read a bunch of her poems and even listened to a few read aloud by her and by her husband (Donald Hall – also a poet) via audio recordings made available by the Poetry Foundation. (They have an “Essential American Poets” podcast series that is worth checking out.)

Gosh, I love her work. My favorite by her is hands-down the superb “Let Evening Come,” but I thought this other evening poem appropriate to share now:

Evening Sun

 Why does this light force me back
to my childhood? I wore a yellow
summer dress, and the skirt
made a perfect circle.
                                       Turning and turning
until it flared to the limit
was irresistible     . . . .    The grass and trees,
my outstretched arms, and the skirt
whirled in the ochre light
of an early June evening.
                                        And I knew then
that I would have to live,
and go on living: what sorrow it was;
and stilI what sorrow burns
but does not consume
my heart.
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