Jane Kenyon

(1947-1995 / United States)

Otherwise - Poem by Jane Kenyon

I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.

At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.


Comments about Otherwise by Jane Kenyon

  • Dutendra Chamling (12/23/2015 1:33:00 AM)


    Jane Kenyon! Beautiful poem. It tells about many possibilities. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Susan Williams (12/15/2015 3:22:00 PM)


    She knew her death was coming but look at the calm strong way she went about life- -she had courage and she had love of life and all its trappings. She is a lady- not was a lady- but is a lady because this kind never die as long as we admire their kind (Report) Reply

    (12/30/2017 7:30:00 PM)

    Absolutely true Susan; Amen.

Read all 3 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: dog, silver, together, work, sleep



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  9. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
[Report Error]