Otherwise: New and Selected PoemsBook - 1996
Poems deal with childhood, family, nature, travel, illness, love, death, pain, the human spirit, and God
Otherwise collects a lifetime's work of poetry by one of our most cherished poets. Opening with twenty poems and including generous selections from Jane Kenyon's four previous books-- From Room to Room, The Boat of Quiet Hours, Let Evening Come, and Constance-- this collection was selected and arranged by Kenyon shortly before her death in April 1995.
This extensive collection reveals a scrupulously crafted body of work in which poem after poem achieves a rare and somber grace. Light and shade are never far apart in these telling narratives of life at the poet's New Hampshire home. The shadow of depression in Jane Kenyon's verse has the force of a spiritual presence-- a god, demon, angel. Yet her work emphasizes the constant effort of her imagination to redeem her suffering. As her husband Donald Hall writes in the afterword to Otherwise, we share "her joy in the body and the creation, in flowers, music, and paintings, in hayfields and a dog."