04 January 2018

Poetry Thursday - August Rain, After Haying by Jane Kenyon

May 9 White Barn Black Cows Original Painting, painting by artist Toni Grote
Before the rain, perhaps (painting by Toni Grote (via))

August Rain, After Haying
Through sere trees and beheaded
grasses the slow rain falls.
Hay fills the barn; only the rake
and one empty wagon are left
in the field. In the ditches
goldenrod bends to the ground.
Even at noon the house is dark.
In my room under the eaves
I hear the steady benevolence
of water washing dust
raised by the haying
from porch and car and garden
chair. We are shorn
and purified, as if tonsured.
The grass resolves to grow again,
receiving the rain to that end,
but my disordered soul thirsts
after something it cannot name.

                  - Jane Kenyon (1947-1995)

One poem leads to another. I found this one while looking for information about Jane Duran - it appears in a "poetry workshop" from 2006.

Jane Kenyon was New Hampshire's poet laureate at the time of her untimely death at the age of 47. She 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.  She also explored the cycles of nature: the fall of light from day to dusk to night, and the cycles of relationships with family and friends throughout a long span of years brought to a close by death.

She has been compared with Keats: "like Keats, she attempts to redeem morbidity with a peculiar kind of gusto, one which seeks a quiet annihilation of self-identity through identification with benign things." Find more of her poems here.

1 comment:

patty a. said...

I am not much of a poetry person, but I love the painting.