Friday, December 11, 2009

Poetry Friday -- 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.

(the rest of the poem is at Poetry Foundation)

I was looking for a poem about staying late at work until my desk was completely. cleaned. off. Or one about what it feels like to (finally) look up and see different stuff on the big bulletin board in the classroom, or one about that feeling when I remembered that my students have a guidance lesson, (which means I have the gift of time). I needed a poem about turning a corner and feeling like maybe, just maybe, the worst was behind us for a little while.

You can see what I found. It's a poem about happiness. That scoundrel happiness who decided to mosey on back, and who we (as always) welcome with open arms.

The round up this week is at Random Noodling.


  1. Ooh, I really like that. It's new to me. I really need to get some collections of her poetry.

  2. "inquires at every door
    until he finds you asleep midafternoon
    as you so often are during the unmerciful
    hours of your despair. "

    Oh yes. Come to me!

  3. Mary Lee--

    Jane Kenyon is one of my favorite poets--and your Poetry Friday selection is one of my favorite Kenyon poems.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful weekend.

  4. Anonymous3:06 PM

    This is lovely! Thank you for sharing. Have a great weekend.

  5. So this snuck up on you while you were looking for something else! Glad it caught you. I really likethe way you configured the poem!


  6. Oh, I love it. And you give me hope of feeling that same kind of happiness, sometime towards the middle of next week. New bulletin boards, exams graded, clean desk...all unfortunately just a dream right now.

  7. I have this collection but have not read this poem. Thanks for sharing it. Enjoyed it very much.


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