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 birch wood.
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.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Jane Kenyon's poem Otherwise

1 Comment

  1. Martha Dandridge says:

    This poem make me feel so happy, it was like it had been written just for me. It really made me think that perhaps I shouldn’t just give up on my life like I was going to, that happiness might really be out there for me. The poem talked about how she cherished her cereal and actually enjoyed her work. It really made me think that just maybe, the so called real world that is so unforgiving and cruel towards bad students isn’t so. It made me think that perhaps the world is more fairytalesque, and if your really true to your own soul happiness will just fall into your lap as if by magic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem by Jane Kenyon better? If accepted, your analysis will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.