Want to know what poem I'll have in my pocket?!
HERE IT IS!
Let Evening Come by Jane Kenyon
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.
While the poem is definitely about the sadness of life ending, it always reminds me to appreciate the natural world as well as the brevity of life. Jane Kenyon lived in my hometown and was married to National Poet Laureate, Donald Hall. There's a Bill Moyers PBS documentary on the couple from the early 90s. CHECK.IT.OUT. As with her later poems, this one took a darker turn as she succumbed to her leukemia.
The nerdy part regarding this poem pertains to our middle-high school band playing an arrangement of this poem. Like the poem, the musical arrangement was sad but accepting of the circumstances of life. Feel free to hit up youtube for some sound middle school arrangements!
Jane's work has been compared to Sylvia Plath's and has been praised for its use of rural description, which was no doubt inspired by her Northern New England surroundings!
Let Evening Come stayed with me over the years, and that's why it'll be in my pocket!
PS. What poem will/would you put your pocket?!