Sunday, December 30, 2012

Three poems about death.

These are three lovely poems with really contrasting attitudes about death.  Jane Kenyon is almost welcoming death (in the image of evening) as a gentle friend. I believe that she was fighting cancer when she wrote these poems.
Dylan Thomas was a fighter and he fights death in his poem.  I have a cd of him reading "Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night" and it is fierce.
Christina Rossetti has a very accepting attitude towards death.  She is very matter-of-fact and practical in her poem.
The differences in images and attitudes fascinate me.
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. 


  1. Ironic that I just quoted the same Jane Kenyon poem on my blog yesterday before I had seen your's. Thank you so much for introducing me to her! Her poems have been a significant influence in my life the last half of 2012 and her quote from the tagline of your blog banner is hanging in my office.

  2. I'll have to go check out your latest entry, Pam! It's such a lovely poem on so many levels .