Friday, August 12, 2005

Duke Altum's Poem of the Week - BONUS ROUND

Since it's the first week of this feature and we're still celebrating the debut of The Secret Thread, here's a bonus poem for readers to enjoy. Another American poet, Jane Kenyon. I love this one for its simplicity and grace, like a sturdy old hymn softly sung before bed... what does it say to you???

Let Evening Come

Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving
up the bales as the sun moves down.

Let the cricket take up chafing
as a woman takes up her needles
and her yarn. Let evening come.

Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.

Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
Let the wind die down. Let the shed
go black inside. Let evening come.

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
in the oats, to air in the lung
let evening come.

Let it come, as it will, and don't
be afraid. God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come.


Mutt Ploughman said...

Great poem. This reminds me of some of the early passages in Ron Hansen's novel 'Mariette in Ecstasy'. It really resonates with sounds, smells, a calm feeling. Get into these poems Duke posts! They come with FREE gifts!

Duke Altum said...

Thanks Mutt... I agree with you... as in Hansen's extraordinary novel, Kenyon here shows a vivid awareness of what has been called "the sacramental nature of reality"... what's of particular interest to me in this poem is the attention to detail, and especially the details that are usually missed. It's fascinating to me that Kenyon would include not just the "moon diclosing her silver horn," but also, "the bottle in the ditch" and "the scoop in the oats." And the inclusion of something like the "shed going black inside" to me speaks to the profound truth that, in the famous dying words of the titular country priest in Bernanos' classic novel, "Grace is everywhere...". That's whether we are there to notice it, or not. The whole poem seems to cast the notion of God's sovereignty over all things in a light that is comforting and not damning. This is why I post these things! Great stuff.