Jane Kenyon

Jane Kenyon

in Ann Arbor, Michigan, The United States
May 23, 1947

April 22, 1995


Jane Kenyon was an American poet and translator. Her work is often characterized as simple, spare, and emotionally resonant.

Average rating: 4.23 · 6,219 ratings · 497 reviews · 22 distinct works · Similar authors
Otherwise: New and Selected...

4.33 avg rating — 1,567 ratings — published 1996 — 2 editions
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Collected Poems

4.40 avg rating — 792 ratings — published 2005 — 3 editions
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Let Evening Come

4.32 avg rating — 186 ratings — published 1990 — 3 editions
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A Hundred White Daffodils

4.26 avg rating — 149 ratings — published 1999 — 2 editions
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4.32 avg rating — 135 ratings — published 1993 — 2 editions
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The Boat of Quiet Hours: Poems

4.27 avg rating — 129 ratings — published 1986 — 2 editions
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From Room to Room

4.15 avg rating — 61 ratings — published 1978 — 2 editions
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-Bright Unequivocal Eye-: P...

4.25 avg rating — 4 ratings — published 2000
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DIVA WISDOM - Find Your Voi...

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 2 ratings — published 2015
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Superwoman - Her Sell By Da...

4.67 avg rating — 3 ratings — published 2014 — 2 editions
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More books by Jane Kenyon…
“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.”
Jane Kenyon

“If it's darkness we're having, let it be extravagant.”
Jane Kenyon


There's just no accounting for happiness,
or the way it turns up like a prodigal
who comes back to the dust at your feet
having squandered a fortune far away.

And how can you not forgive?
You make a feast in honor of what
was lost, and take from its place the finest
garment, which you saved for an occasion
you could not imagine, and you weep night and day
to know that you were not abandoned,
that happiness saved its most extreme form
for you alone.

No, happiness is the uncle you never
knew about, who flies a single-engine plane
onto the grassy landing strip, hitchhikes
into town, and inquires at every door
until he finds you asleep midafternoon
as you so often are during the unmerciful
hours of your despair.

It comes to the monk in his cell.
It comes to the woman sweeping the street
with a birch broom, to the child
whose mother has passed out from drink.
It comes to the lover, to the dog chewing
a sock, to the pusher, to the basket maker,
and to the clerk stacking cans of carrots
in the night.
It even comes to the boulder
in the perpetual shade of pine barrens,
to rain falling on the open sea,
to the wineglass, weary of holding wine.”
Jane Kenyon

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