Jane Kenyon

(1947-1995 / United States)

Taking Down The Tree - Poem by Jane Kenyon

'Give me some light!' cries Hamlet's
uncle midway through the murder
of Gonzago. 'Light! Light!' cry scattering
courtesans. Here, as in Denmark,
it's dark at four, and even the moon
shines with only half a heart.


The ornaments go down into the box:
the silver spaniel, My Darling
on its collar, from Mother's childhood
in Illinois; the balsa jumping jack
my brother and I fought over,
pulling limb from limb. Mother
drew it together again with thread
while I watched, feeling depraved
at the age of ten.


With something more than caution
I handle them, and the lights, with their
tin star-shaped reflectors, brought along
from house to house, their pasteboard
toy suitcases increasingly flimsy.
Tick, tick, the desiccated needles drop.


By suppertime all that remains is the scent
of balsam fir. If it's darkness
we're having, let it be extravagant.


Comments about Taking Down The Tree by Jane Kenyon

  • Ratnakar Mandlik (12/15/2015 10:10:00 PM)

    Fantastic imagery and a wonderful poem with beautiful rhyme. Enjoyed the poem. Thanks for sharing.10 points. (Report) Reply

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  • Kim Barney (12/15/2015 7:48:00 PM)

    Impressive poem. I will read more of Jane Kenyon's work. (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams Susan Williams (12/15/2015 3:01:00 PM)

    This is my first acquaintance with Jane Kenyon. I am impressed with her handling of children's memories and the fresh way she presents them. (Report) Reply

  • Smoky Hoss (12/15/2015 1:02:00 PM)

    Jane Kenyon's work, always a pleasure and treasure to behold. (Report) Reply

  • Mohammed Asim Nehal Mohammed Asim Nehal (12/15/2015 4:45:00 AM)

    With something more than caution
    I handle them, and the lights, with their
    tin star-shaped reflectors, brought along
    from house to house, their pasteboard
    toy suitcases increasingly flimsy. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis Edward Kofi Louis (12/15/2015 4:42:00 AM)

    Feeling depraved with the muse of life. Nice work. (Report) Reply

  • Anil Kumar Panda Anil Kumar Panda (12/15/2015 1:39:00 AM)

    'By suppertime all that remains is the scent
    of balsam fir. If it's darkness
    we're having, let it be extravagant.' is so nice. Liked it. (Report) Reply

Read all 7 comments »



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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010



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