Otherwise: New and Selected Poems

ISBN 10: 1555972403 / ISBN 13: 9781555972400
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Otherwise collects a lifetime's work of poetry by one of our most cherished poets. Opening with twenty poems and including generous selections from Jane Kenyon's four previous books-- From Room to Room, The Boat of Quiet Hours, Let Evening Come, and Constance-- this collection was selected and arranged by Kenyon shortly before her death in April 1995.

This extensive collection reveals a scrupulously crafted body of work in which poem after poem achieves a rare and somber grace. Light and shade are never far apart in these telling narratives of life at the poet's New Hampshire home. The shadow of depression in Jane Kenyon's verse has the force of a spiritual presence-- a god, demon, angel. Yet her work emphasizes the constant effort of her imagination to redeem her suffering. As her husband Donald Hall writes in the afterword to Otherwise, we share "her joy in the body and the creation, in flowers, music, and paintings, in hayfields and a dog."

Review: This collection stands as something of a tribute to Jane Kenyon, who died in 1995 at the age of 48. Otherwise contains 20 new poems plus selected works from her four previous collections. The situations from which her lively writing arise often came from her daily life in and around the New Hampshire farm where she lived with her husband. The simple settings provides fertile ground for her richness of language. "As late as yesterday ice preoccupied the pond--dark, half-melted, waterlogged. Then it sank in the night, one piece, taking winter with it. And afterward everything seems simple and good." Beautiful, gracious poetry.

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Title: Otherwise: New and Selected Poems
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