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Collected Poems Paperback – September 4, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
To read Jane Kenyon in this collected and chronological format is such a joy, as her work is intensely personal. Coming to the end, the reader feels as if a life has been shared, one that is simple yet so rich, gratefully and gracefully lived, always acutely aware. She writes about her marriage, her illness, her husband's cancer, her friends, her home, her depression, her travels, her world. There is an element of domesticity and femininity in Jane Kenyon's verse - she can make hanging out a line of laundry seem like an act of worship - but the overriding motivation is quiet observation, giving pause and space for those lovely transient moments, whispered failings, private joys, intimate discoveries.
This is a lovely book and will be a treasured collection for years.
Jane Kenyon's poems celebrate the plain things our eyes edit if we diminish our sensitivity. She makes us aware of the common parcels of beauty that fill the world, that elevate the spirit. Her own episodes of depression, fought valiantly through periods of failed bone marrow transplant, in response to her husband's encounter with colon cancer - all can be traced to certain passages, but ever with the ability to see light from the coming horizon. She examines the plain, avoids trite emotion, and reveals the sanctity of each atom our minds can embrace if we remain always receptive.
This is a magnificent book of fine poetry. It is exquisitely written: it is inspirational. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, September 05
Jane Kenyon's style reminds me of Billy Collins's (especially "The Trouble With Poetry"): the poems are accessible and yet carefully crafted, they tell a clear story in mesmerizing language. It is obvious that Kenyon would have become a poet as well-known as Collins and her husband Donald Hall, had she not died prematurely; one feels blessed to have this collection at last, a decade after her death.
Kenyon displays enormous talent. She writes timeless poems about her life in Maine, her bouts of depression, Hall and his illness (he was sick before she was), and the disease that will ultimately kill her. Her love for Hall permeates her work - the quiet strength of it is truly inspiring. Any reader will find in this collection many poems that speak to him (or her). People who enjoy reflecting in nature and paying attention to life's little details will particularly cherish this book.
If you have been introduced to Kenyon by "Otherwise" or by poem-a-day projects such as Poetry 180 and you wonder if the totality of her work can be that good, the answer is yes! Collected Poems is filled with outstanding gems that you will cherish for years to come.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very moving and descriptive poems. Artful word craft to describe every day observations, while spinning in a more cosmic meaning.Published 13 days ago by avid reader
I bought a copy, read and loved it, passed it on to a friend, bought another for myself, shared it again and then bought another. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Margaret D. Riddle
Great down-to-earth poetry - simple in theme on the surface, usually with a much deeper second level.Published 5 months ago by Kurt