Friday, October 13, 2006

Jane Kenyon's Poetry

Tonight I read Jane Kenyon's first book of poetry: From Room to Room. It was published by Alice James Books in 1978. It is a slim volume (59 pages) with simple and elegant, but haunting poems.

In the poem titled "Leaving Town," Kenyon weaves images together that would resonate with anyone who has reluctantly moved. She describes listening to a baseball game on the radio until the signal becomes too faint to hear. At this point, she writes: "I felt like a hand without an arm."

In "The Circle on the Grass," a man comes to chop down a tree that was damaged the previous night by wind. The sounds of the man's tools are disturbing and create anxiety. Kenyon captures the feeling perfectly with lines like "I keep busy in the house" and "I clean with the vacuum / so I won't have to listen." After the man has finished, she writes: "When it's over, there is nothing left / but a pale circle on the grass, / dark in the center, like an eye."

I recommend these poems to anyone who enjoys poetry that is stripped down and concerned with the events of daily life. I also recommend reading the poems as I did - at night - in bed - and with a cup of coffee (or tea if you like).


At 21.10.06 , Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Dear Stacy,
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Forever grateful,
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


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