(Essay 1) 2/24/18
Dissecting “Let Evening Come”
Out of the poem selections we have had this semester, “Let Evening Come” by Jane Kenyon has definitely been one of my favorites. What I notice most about the poem is the feeling of peace that it evokes in me. The language and rhythm used by Kenyon in the poem create a sense of calm that really helps to convey the theme of the poem, which is about, as the name implies, the coming of evening on a farm.
I found that the imagery was very strong and easy to imagine. The images that Kenyon provides are all very clear, and I think that they are meant to be taken quite literally. Kenyon is straightforward in her descriptions, and seems to avoid gaudy language, which is one of the things that really stood out to me in this deeply perplexing poem. One of the things that really defines good poetry for me, is what I would call its evocativeness. Does the poet evoke a feeling, a memory, and a sensory reaction? Jane Kenyon absolutely does that in her “Let Evening Come.” Whether you grew up in a rural setting or not, it’s hard not to identify with the slow movement of the afternoon sun or the chirp of a cricket or the discarded bottle at the side of the road. And in identifying with these images we remember a certain feeling, a certain inevitability about the passage of time caught each and every day as the sun drops toward the horizon, darkness gathers, and another day dies.
The main image that comes to me when I read this centering poem, is an image of a peaceful farm at sunset, just as all the work for the day has come to an end. I picked up on this image the most in the lines that mention the barn filled with bales of hay, the hoe that has been abandoned for the day, and the scoop in the oats. This image also came to me in the line about the woman taking up her yarn and needles to knit. For me, the imagery of the farm after a long day of work was incredibly vivid, and I felt as though the supporting natural details of the crickets and the fox painted a truly beautiful picture of the farm coexisting with the surrounding wilderness.
The sensations that are brou...