Thursday, February 16, 2006

DON'T LET EVENING COME

I loved Julia's Domestication of Geese, a reversal of Mary Oliver's Wild Geese, so I decided to take a stab at one of my faves, Jane Kenyon's Let Evening Come. Fun!

Don’t Let Evening Come
- after Jane Kenyon’s Let Evening Come

Don’t let the darkness of late afternoon
slither through the street alley, stealing
up the garden windows as the sun moves down.

Don’t let the subway trains sweep the city
as a man sweeps across the wooden floor
and closes the shop door. Don’t let evening come.

Don’t let shadows collect on the bench abandoned
in the park. Don’t let the street lamps buzz
and the moths singe their wings and fall to death.

Don’t let the commuters go back to their cookie-cutter homes.
Don’t let the televisions flicker. Don’t call the children
in for their supper. Don’t let evening come.

To the dog eager for its walk, to the garage door
dropping down, to hunger in the belly
don’t let evening come.

Don’t let it come, as it will, and don’t forget
to be afraid. God leaves us
too comfortable, so don’t let evening come.

- Irene Latham


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.

-- Jane Kenyon

2 Comments:

Blogger J.B. Rowell said...

This worked well! I enjoyed it on its own as well as in comparison with Kenyon's. I especially loved this stanza:

Don’t let shadows collect on the bench abandoned
in the park. Don’t let the street lamps buzz
and the moths singe their wings and fall to death.

Maybe you don't need to say "to death" singe their wings and fall is so strong on its own. Anyway, it'a all good,
Julia

6:25 PM, February 16, 2006  
Blogger Aurora said...

Jane Kenyon is one of my favourite poets! This was a real treat to find.

10:33 PM, February 22, 2006  

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