Let Evening Come

Jane Kenyon, Author
Jane Kenyon, Author Graywolf Press $16.95 (72p) ISBN 978-1-55597-130-4
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
Kenyon ( The Boat of Quiet Hours ) portrays with meticulous detail the healing, regenerative force of nature in the cycles of human emotion and experience. Her understated, deceptively simple poems celebrate the pleasures of domestic, rural life--waking, walking the dog, wash day are here occasions for meditations on the natural world and the joys of ordinary existence: ``All afternoon I lifted oak leaves / from the flowerbeds and greeted / like friends the green-white crowns / of perennials. . . . How I hated to come in! . . . '' But underlying these observations is a subtle tension masterfully created by Kenyon's exacting language and alternating images of light and ever-encroaching darkness: ``The sun drops low over the pond. / Long shadows move out from the stones, / and a chill rises from the moss. . . . '' Her vision is ultimately one of faith and acceptance, as in the title poem, where she asserts, ``God does not leave us / comfortless, so let evening come.'' While one of the poet's greatest strengths is her unadorned, prosaic speech, the language sometimes falls flat, marring an otherwise cogent and moving collection. (May)
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