|This moving collection of poetry was compiled during the last months of the poet’s life, as she was battling leukemia. It contains selections from her previously published collections of poetry, as well as a number of new poems. The story of its compilation is told in the afterword, written by Jane Kenyon’s husband (former U.S. Poet Laureate Donald Hall). Crying while reading an afterword was a new experience for me.
The poetry itself is beautiful, and very accessible. The themes center around daily life. Sometimes it’s the poignancy of the little things: the healing found by seeing sunlight on a warm rock, the solidarity with the past caused by finding an old thimble on the floor, the quiet joy of watching children at play. Other times it’s the more difficult things: the visit to an elderly relative in a nursing home, the oppressive reality of a difficult prognosis, the rawness of a funeral. Her poems aren’t often happy-go-lucky, but they’re always tender and real.
We lie back to back. Curtains