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Jane Kenyon

  • I am the one whose love / overcomes you, already with you / when you think to call my name ...

    • Jane Kenyon,
    • "Briefly It Enters, and Briefly Speaks," The Boat of Quiet Hours ()
  • Time to head home. I wait / until we're nearly out to the main road / to put him back on the leash, and he / — the designated optimist — / imagines to the end that he is free.

    • Jane Kenyon,
    • "After an Illness, Walking the Dog," Otherwise: New and Selected Poems ()
  • If it's darkness / we're having, / let it be extravagant.

    • Jane Kenyon,
    • "Taking Down the Tree," Otherwise: New and Selected Poems ()
  • Everyone longs for love's tense joys and red delights.

    • Jane Kenyon,
    • "Thinking of Madame Bovary," Otherwise: New and Selected Poems ()
  • Searching for God is the first thing and the last, / but in between such trouble, and such pain.

    • Jane Kenyon,
    • "With the Dog at Sunrise," Otherwise: New and Selected Poems ()
  • The poet's job is to put into words those feelings we all have that are so deep, so important, and yet so difficult to name, to tell the truth in such a beautiful way that people cannot live without it.

  • My ear is not working, my poetry ear. I can't write a line that doesn't sound like pots and pans falling out of the cupboard.

    • Jane Kenyon,
    • in Alice Mattison, "'Let It Grow in the Dark Like a Mushroom': Writing With Jane Kenyon," Michigan Quarterly Review ()
  • [Poetry:] ... the inside of one person speaking to the inside of another.

    • Jane Kenyon
  • I am food on the prisoner's plate ... / the patient gardener / of the dry and weedy garden ... / the stone step, / the latch, and the working hinge.

    • Jane Kenyon,
    • "Briefly It Enters, and Briefly Speaks," Collected Poems ()

Jane Kenyon, U.S. poet, translator

(1947 - 1995)