Jane Kenyon: 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 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.
I came to Kenyon via her husband, Donald Hall, a poet I admire deeply (I’ll post one of his poems tomorrow). Kenyon’s own work is very interesting, and I do own her Collected Poems, where I took this poem. However, I’ll admit freely that I have trouble connecting to the lilt of her work sometimes. I do recommend reading Kenyon, though. Her voice is strong and her command and use of form is intriguing. I find myself frequently moved by her work, but for personal reasons more than anything else.