Friday, July 21, 2017

Poetry Friday: Happiness

Happiness
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.

It comes to the monk in his cell.
It comes to the woman sweeping the street
with a birch broom, to the child
whose mother has passed out from drink.
It comes to the lover, to the dog chewing
a sock, to the pusher, to the basketmaker,
and to the clerk stacking cans of carrots
in the night.
                     It even comes to the boulder
in the perpetual shade of pine barrens,
to rain falling on the open sea,
to the wineglass, weary of holding wine.


Here's today's roundup.

8 comments:

Mitchell Linda said...

That is a stunning poem. Thank you. You know? I need to share more poems that I lean on for mentorship. I'm always so excited to share what I write.....but we all stand on shoulders of giants. Every visit to your blog is sweet, Ruth. Thank you.

Linda B said...

This: "to know that you were not abandoned,/that happiness saved its most extreme form/for you alone." and then the rest, is solace indeed, isn't it? Thanks, Ruth.

Tara Smith said...

One of my favorite Jane Kenyon's!

Violet Nesdoly said...

I enjoy anything by Jane Kenyon. I find this one particular poignant, knowing of her battle with depression. It's such a brave, joyous poem. Thanks for posting it!

Kay said...

Jane Kenyon hits the mark again. Happiness comes, not only to those who deserve it, but still it sneaks in when least expected.

Mary Lee said...

Thank you for this gift -- right poem at the right time. I've saved it to read again sometime when I'm feeling like that boulder...

Brenda Harsham said...

Happiness is a welcome guest. :-)

michelle kogan said...

I like this first stanza,
"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 the poem just continues to grow and build from there, Happiness holds a deep well of thought to ponder on, thanks Ruth.