"No matter how terrified you may be, own your fear and take that leap anyway because whether you land on your feet or on your butt, the journey is well worth it."
-- Laurie Laliberte
"If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough."
-- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
-- Anais Nin

Sunday, April 10, 2011

In Honor of National Poetry Month I Present. . .

. . .two of my favorite poems by one of my favorite poets. I found out about and began reading the poetry of Jane Kenyon many years ago when she was honored posthumously in an article I read about National Poetry Month. I would like to share with you two of her poems.

The first was written by Ms. Kenyon when she knew she was terminal (leukemia). She spent her last days editing her final book. This is the Title poem from that book:

by Jane Kenyon
©2005 by the Estate of Jane Kenyon

I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birchwood.
All morning I did
the work I love.
At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.
The second was written in honor of her husband, poet Donald Hall. I'll write more on this one later this month because it ties into a story I've been wanting to tell about the poetry I love. For now, here is my favorite Jane Kenyon poem:

The Shirt

©2005 by the Estate of Jane Kenyon

          The shirt touches his neck
          and smooths over his back.
          It slides down his sides.
          It even goes down below his belt—
          down into his pants.
          Lucky shirt.

Please feel free to share your own favorites in the comments. I would love to read them.


  1. hehe I like the one about her husband's shirt ;)

  2. I was a bit timid about posting that one because of it's connotations, but I figured if I was going to share my favorite poetry this month I couldn't omit my favorite Jane Kenyon. I'll have more for you on Sunday morning!