Friday, May 16, 2008


Jane Kenyon is one of my favorite poets. Here is one of her most well-known and popular poems.

By Jane Kenyon

There’s just no accounting for happiness,
or the way it turns up like a prodigal
who comes back to the dust at your feet
having squandered a fortune far away.

And how can you not forgive?
You make a feast in honor of what
was lost, and take from its place the finest
garment, which you saved for an occasion
you could not imagine, and you weep night and day
to know that you were not abandoned,
that happiness saved its most extreme form
for you alone.

No, happiness is the uncle you never
knew about, who flies a single-engine plane
onto the grassy landing strip, hitchhikes
into town, and inquires at every door
until he finds you asleep midafternoon
as you so often are during the unmerciful
hours of your despair.

You can read the rest of the poem here.


At Wild Rose Reader, I have another original poem I wrote for an unpublished collection entitled A Home for the Seasons.

Edited to Add: I posted another poem at Wild Rose Reader that I wrote for Tricia’s Poetry Stretch - Six Words. It’s called Poetry on Demand.

Two Writing Teachers have the Poetry Friday Roundup.


TadMack said...

I absolutely adore Jane Kenyon. She always puts things in a such a way that the reader says, "Mm-hmm, I know exactly what she means."

Liz in Ink said...

This poem has always been one of my favorites. There is just no accounting...

Elaine Magliaro said...


I agree with what you said about Kenyon's poetry. Another of my favorites is "Let Evening Come." I read it at my father-in-law's funeral.


"Happiness" must be one of her most popular poems. It's posted on a number of poetry websites.