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Biography of Jane Kenyon

Jane Kenyon

Jane Kenyon (1947 - 1995)

Jane Kenyon (1947 - 1995) was an American poet and translator. Her work is often characterized as simple, spare, and emotionally resonant.

Kenyon was born in 1947 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and grew up in the midwest. She earned a B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1970 and an M.A. in 1972. While a student at the University of Michigan, Kenyon met the poet Donald Hall; though he was some twenty years her senior, she married him in 1972, and they moved to Eagle Pond Farm, his ancestral home in New Hampshire.

Four collections of Kenyon's poems were published during her lifetime: Constance (1993), Let Evening Come (1990), The Boat of Quiet Hours (1986), and From Room to Room (1978). She spent some years translating the poems of Anna Akhmatova from Russian into English (published as Twenty Poems of Anna Akhmatova, 1985), and she championed translation as an important art at which every poet should try her hand.

Kenyon was New Hampshire's poet laureate when she died in April of 1995 from leukemia. When she died, she was working on editing Otherwise: New and Selected Poems, which was released posthumously in 1996. In 1999, Graywolf Press published A Hundred White Daffodils: Essays, Interviews, the Akhmatova Translations, Newspaper Columns, and One Poem, which most reviewers regarded as less stellar than her previous work but worthwhile nonetheless. In 2004, Ausable Press published Letters to Jane, a compilation of letters written by the poet Hayden Carruth to Kenyon in the year between her diagnosis and her death.

Kenyon's poems are filled with rural images: light streaming through a hayloft, shorn winter fields. She wrote frequently about wrestling with depression, which plagued her throughout her adult life. Though a subtle faith permeates her poems, they are not overtly Christian, though her essays reveal the important role church came to play in her life once she and Hall moved to Eagle Pond Farm.


Biography by: This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License and uses material adapted in whole or in part from the Wikipedia article on Jane Kenyon.


14 Poems written by Jane Kenyon

The poems are by default sorted according to volume, but you can also choose to sort them alphabetically or by page views.

Volume | Alphabetically | [Page Views] | Comments | First Lines


Page ViewsPoemComments
9632 Otherwise Comments and analysis of Otherwise by Jane Kenyon 48 Comments
7328 Happiness Comments and analysis of Happiness by Jane Kenyon 1 Comment
6878 The Suitor Comments and analysis of The Suitor by Jane Kenyon 50 Comments
5988 Briefly It Enters, and Briefly Speaks Comments and analysis of Briefly It Enters, and Briefly Speaks by Jane Kenyon 1 Comment
5701 February: Thinking of Flowers
5244 Biscuit Comments and analysis of Biscuit by Jane Kenyon 1 Comment
4825 Notes from the Other Side Comments and analysis of Notes from the Other Side by Jane Kenyon 2 Comments
4175 Finding A Long Gray Hair Comments and analysis of Finding A Long Gray Hair by Jane Kenyon 2 Comments
2396 Dutch Interiors
540 Having it Out with Melancholy Comments and analysis of Having it Out with Melancholy by Jane Kenyon 52 Comments
499 Let Evening Come Comments and analysis of Let Evening Come by Jane Kenyon 57 Comments
349 Twilight: After Haying Comments and analysis of Twilight: After Haying by Jane Kenyon 1 Comment
311 The Blue Bowl
254 Wash Comments and analysis of Wash by Jane Kenyon 28 Comments


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