Monday, July 13, 2015

Jane Kenyon*

Jane Kenyon (1947—1995) was poet laureate of New Hampshire at the time of her death. She published four volumes of her own poetry, and a collection of Anna Akhmatova's poems translated from Russian. Her posthumous essay collection, A Hundred White Daffodils, reveals the importance of the local church, she and her husband Donald Hall attended.

The following poem did not appear in any of the books published in her lifetime, but in Otherwise: New & Selected Poems, which Graywolf published in 1996. Some of the most spiritual poems in that collection are among the New poems. According to the New York Times Book Review, Kenyon "sees this world as a kind of threshold through which we enter God's wonder."

In the Nursing Home

She is like a horse grazing
a hill pasture that someone makes
smaller by coming every night
to pull the fences in and in.

She has stopped running wide loops,
stopped even the tight circles.
She drops her head to feed; grass
is dust, and the creekbed’s dry.

Master, come with your light
halter. Come and bring her in.

*This is the second Kingdom Poets post about Jane Kenyon: first post,
third post.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection, Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis, is available from Wipf & Stock as is his earlier award-winning collection, Poiema.