Briefly It Enters, Briefly Speaks

By Jane Kenyon 1947–1995 Jane Kenyon
I am the blossom pressed in a book,
found again after two hundred years. . . .

I am the maker, the lover, and the keeper....

When the young girl who starves
sits down to a table
she will sit beside me. . . .

I am food on the prisoner's plate. . . .

I am water rushing to the wellhead,
filling the pitcher until it spills. . . .

I am the patient gardener
of the dry and weedy garden. . . .

I am the stone step,
the latch, and the working hinge. . . .

I am the heart contracted by joy. . . .
the longest hair, white
before the rest. . . .

I am there in the basket of fruit
presented to the widow. . . .

I am the musk rose opening
unattended, the fern on the boggy summit. . . .

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

“Briefly It Enters, and Briefly Speaks” by Jane Kenyon from Collected Poems. Copyright © 2005 by the Estate of Jane Kenyon. Reprinted with permission of Graywolf Press, www.graywolfpress.org.

Source: Collected Poems (Graywolf Press, 2005)

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Poet Jane Kenyon 1947–1995

Subjects Love, Relationships, Romantic Love

Poetic Terms Refrain, Ars Poetica, Persona

 Jane  Kenyon

Biography

New Hampshire's poet laureate at the time of her untimely death at age forty-seven, Jane Kenyon was noted for verse that probed the inner psyche, particularly with regard to her own battle against the depression that lasted throughout much of her adult life. Writing for the last two decades of her life at her farm in northern New England, Kenyon is also remembered for her stoic portraits of domestic and rural life; as essayist . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Relationships, Romantic Love

Poetic Terms Refrain, Ars Poetica, Persona

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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