Jane Kenyon

Jane Kenyon

About Jane Kenyon

Jane Kenyon was an American poet and translator. She published 4 poetry books during her lifetime: From Room to Room (1978), Constance (1993), The Boat of Quiet Hours (1986), and Let Evening Come (1990). 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 that every poet should try. When she died, she was working on editing Otherwise: New and Selected Poems. She received the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry in 1994
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. Kenyon's poem Having it out with Melancholy describes this struggle and the brief moments of happiness she felt when taking an MAOI, Nardil. The essays collected in A Hundred White Daffodils reveal the important role church came to play in her life once she and Hall moved to Eagle Pond Farm.
Her poem Let Evening Come was featured in the film In Her Shoes, in a scene where the character played by Cameron Diaz reads the poem (as well as One Art by Elizabeth Bishop) to a blind nursing home resident. "Having it out with Melancholy" has been read by Amanda Palmer on Brain Pickings.
Kenyon was New Hampshire's poet laureate when she died on April 22, 1995 from leukemia.

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