Thinking of Madame Bovary

By Jane Kenyon 1947–1995 Jane Kenyon
The first hot April day the granite step
was warm. Flies droned in the grass.
When a car went past they rose
in unison, then dropped back down. . . .

I saw that a yellow crocus bud had pierced
a dead oak leaf, then opened wide. How strong
its appetite for the luxury of the sun!

Everyone longs for love’s tense joy and red delights.

And then I spied an ant
dragging a ragged, disembodied wing
up the warm brick walk. It must have been
the Methodist in me that leaned forward,
preceded by my shadow, to put a twig just where
the ant was struggling with its own desire.

Jane Kenyon, “Thinking of Madame Bovary” 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 Relationships, Love, Nature, Spring, Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books, Realistic & Complicated

 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 Relationships, Love, Nature, Spring, Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books, Realistic & Complicated

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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