Guest poem submitted by Kathy:
(Poem #1066) 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.
Those of us who had the good fortune of spending at least some of our childhood in a rural setting must understand this poem in a different way than those without that experience. Still, any child who has taken the time to listen to a cricket chirping on a hot summer night knows something about this poem. By showing us the dew gathering, the stars and moon appearing, and a bottle lying in a ditch, Jane Kenyon reveals the enduring peace of the natural world. Her ability to perceive this peace seems especially remarkable in light of her long struggle with bipolar disease. She knew well that the evening and darkness will come, but she also knew that there was comfort in the middle of the darkness. I can't read this poem without thinking of Dylan Thomas' Fern Hill. The sense of the sacramental nature of the physical world pervades them both and I suppose for that reason they are two of my favorite poems. Kathy. [Minstrels Links] Jane Kenyon: Poem #474, Otherwise Poem #1004, Finding a Long Gray Hair Poem #1066, Let Evening Come Dylan Thomas: Poem #14, Prologue Poem #38, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night Poem #58, The Force that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower Poem #138, Fern Hill Poem #225, Poem In October Poem #270, Under Milk Wood Poem #335, After the Funeral (In memory of Ann Jones) Poem #405, Altarwise by Owl-Light (Stanzas I - IV) Poem #476, In my craft or sullen art Poem #568, Especially when the October Wind Poem #1035, The Hand that Signed the Paper