"Jane Kenyon is considered one of America's best contemporary poets. Her previous collection, Otherwise: New & Selected Poems, published just after her death in 1995, has been a favorite among readers and is already a contemporary classic." "Now at the ten-year anniversary of her death, Kenyon's Collected Poems assembles all of her published poetry in one book. Included here are the complete poems found in her four previous volumes-From Room to Room, The Boat of Quiet Hours, Let Evening Come, and Constance-as well as the poems that appear in her posthumous volumes Otherwise and A Hundred White Daffodils, four poems never before published in book form, and her translations in Twenty Poems of Anna Akhmatova. Book jacket."--Jacket.
This book is beautifully designed and bound. Unlike most "collected works" this edition gives adequate space to the poems where, as in their original editions, each poem gets its own page(s), and the shape and separation between the individual volumes is maintained. Lovely.
Having it Out with Melancholy
1. From the Nursery
When I was born, you waited
behind a pile of linen in the nursery,
and when we were alone,you lay down
on top of me, pressing
the bile of desolation into every pore.
And from that day on
everything under the sun and moon
made me sad - even the yellow
wooden beads that slid and spun
along a spindle on my crib.
You taught me to exist without gratitude.
You ruined my manners toward God:
"We're here simply to wait for death;
the pleasures of earth are overrated."
I only appeared to belong to my mother,
to live among blocks and cotton undershirts
with snaps; among red tin lunch boxes
and report cards in ugly brown slipcases.
I was already yours - the anti-urge,
the mutilator of souls.