Mar 23, 2014

A Poet's Holy Muse

Spring alternately bristled and curtsied this week. 
Cutting, crisp winds with rain and intermittent low temps one moment, 
upstaged by bold rays of sun the next day, 
teasing our trees and budding bulbs to release their fragile blooms.

Amidst the indecisiveness of the outdoors I ventured into the library 
where fortune blessed me with an introduction to poet Jane Kenyon
by way of A Hundred White Daffodils
a collection of her essays, interviews, translations,  and poems.
Pleasantly, as rain flooded the back ponds, I discovered a new favored writer.
Jane Kenyon is a highly regarded contemporary poet whose work is greatly influenced by her Christian faith. 

She writes,
“It was my habit to speak to Him.
His goodness perfumed my life.
I loved the Lord,
he heard my cry,
and he loved me as His own.”
From “Woman, Why are You Weeping”, p.207

* * * 

And later in reading an interview with  Bill Moyers,
Jane claims: There are times when I feel I’m given poems.
Bill Moyers: How do we cultivate that in ourselves?
Jane Kenyon: We have to get quiet. We have to be still, and that’s harder and harder in this century.     ...
Moyers: How did you come to write “Let the Evening Come”? So many people say that is the favorite of your poems.
Kenyon: That poem was given to me.
Moyers: By?
Kenyon: The muse, the Holy Ghost... I felt I needed something redeeming. I went upstairs with the purpose of writing something redeeming...this just fell out.

* * * 

This happens, does it not? In just this way. 
In our creative experiences, as one writes, strums, or applies oils to canvas, sensing a hand in union with eye and the heart, 
the Creator present in our inner musing 
to guide our efforts to record His creation.

A Hundred White Daffodils illuminated these early brooding days of spring, 
these expectant and watchful days Lent.

“It’s not just more flowers I want, it’s more light,
more air for flowers, more sun for cheerfulness...
and a hundred white daffodils that grow after dusk 
against the unpainted boards  of an old barn.” 
From “The Phantom Pruner”, p.50


  1. Beautiful, Lisa! Thank you for sharing your inspiration of Jane Kenyon ... I wonder if I could find her poems as well.
    Lovely - The poets Holy muse!

  2. In this crazy loud world it is very hard to be still and be quiet. but it is so important.