Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Briefly It Enters, and Briefly Speaks

I am the blossom pressed in a book,
found again after two hundred years....

I am the maker, the lover, and the keeper....

When the young girl who starves
sits down to a table
she will sit beside me....

I am food on the prisoner's plate....

I am water rushing to the wellhead,
filling the pitcher until it spills....

I am the patient gardener
of the dry and weedy garden....

I am the stone step,
the latch, and the working hinge....

I am the heart contracted by joy...
the longest hair, white
before the rest....

I am there in the basket of fruit
presented to the widow....

I am the musk rose opening
unattended, the fern on the boggy summit....

I am the one whose love
overcomes you, already with you
when you think to call my name....

Credit


From The Boat of Quiet Hours by Jane Kenyon, published by Graywolf Press. © 1986 by Jane Kenyon. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Author


Jane Kenyon

Jane Kenyon was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1947. During her lifetime she published four books of poetry—: Constance (Graywolf Press, 1993), Let Evening Come (Graywolf Press, 1990), The Boat of Quiet Hours (Graywolf Press, 1986), and From Room to Room (Alice James Books, 1978)—, as well as a book of translation, Twenty Poems of Anna Akhmatova (Ally Press, 1985).

Date Published: 1986-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/briefly-it-enters-and-briefly-speaks