The Clearing

By Jane Kenyon 1947–1995 Jane Kenyon
The dog and I push through the ring
of dripping junipers
to enter the open space high on the hill
where I let him off the leash.

He vaults, snuffling, between tufts of moss;
twigs snap beneath his weight; he rolls
and rubs his jowls on the aromatic earth;
his pink tongue lolls.

I look for sticks of proper heft
to throw for him, while he sits, prim
and earnest in his love, if it is love.

All night a soaking rain, and now the hill
exhales relief, and the fragrance
of warm earth. . . . The sedges
have grown an inch since yesterday,
and ferns unfurled, and even if they try
the lilacs by the barn can’t
keep from opening today.

I longed for spring’s thousand tender greens,
and the white-throated sparrow’s call
that borders on rudeness. Do you know—
since you went away
all I can do
is wait for you to come back to me.

Jane Kenyon, “The Clearing” from Collected Poems. Copyright © 2005 by Jane Kenyon. Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press.

Source: Collected Poems (Graywolf Press, 2005)

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Poet Jane Kenyon 1947–1995

Subjects Living, Separation & Divorce, Relationships, Pets, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals

 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 Living, Separation & Divorce, Relationships, Pets, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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