Jane Kenyon’s poem Let Evening Come is an appeal to the innumerable readers to embrace the inevitable which awaits human beings at the end of the journey of life. The poet uses quintessential literary elements to express her emotions. The form, language and content of the poem make the literary work stand apart and converses the central theme of the poem metaphorically. The simplistic structure and language appeals universally and beings forth the message that human beings should submit to the impending “ evening” and should let go of their inhibitions. The poem describes the transformational phases of various things to reach the final message of faith in the Almighty as God would never leave the human soul in discomfort. Thus, Jane Kenyon endeavors to propagate faithfulness and acceptance among her readers through her literary pursuit. A close introspective reading of the poem makes one realize the intricacies and thus it becomes easy to comprehend.
Let Evening Come is a famous poem by Jane Kenyon and it touches the innermost core of the heart of the avid reader who is left basking in the quintessence of the poetic expression after reading the poem. The poet utilizes her artistic excellence in penning a beautiful literary work. The form, language and content all supplement the exquisiteness of her poetic expression. She uses metaphors very aptly and weaves her words to build the aura of the poem. The poem is s fulfilling reading and brings forth the essence of human life to the gazillion readers who bask in the omnipotence of the literary expression of Kenyon. The poet has divided the poem into six stanzas, each of which comprise of three lines. The poem of eighteen lines weaves quintessential images which leave the reader in an awe of the picturesque beauty of nature. Jane Kenyon goes on to pour her heart out in her simple yet so powerful words. The metaphor of death is evoked through the repeated reference to the “ evening”. The poem uses the literary devices aptly to converse with the readers and convince them of the notion of the poet.
The poem is unforgettable to the reader owing to its artistic excellence and one can only cherish the beauty of nature after reading the literary work. The elements and the beings described in the poem come in unison to converse the ultimate truth of life, that of the immense beauty of life. The poem reiterates the fact that even though life would end one day, still there is ample to keep the heart brimming with bliss. The beauty would be eternal in the form of family, faith and companions. The poem talks of the undying hope of heart and sings praises of the goodness of temporal life amidst the drudgeries and brunt which come up in the journey.
What the poem deals with is made clear at the very inception and the reader can very well comprehend the balance between the present and the impending future. The dichotomy between the present and the future is fascinatingly portrayed by Jane Kenyon. She starts the poem with the lines, “ Let the light of late afternoon / shine through chinks in the barn”, thus portraying the lineage between the two times. This sets the tone of the poem and as the poem progresses, one can see that the poet goes on to describe how the afternoon is slipping off and night is approaching. The light is seen to be tangibly escaping through the spots in the barn and this actually evokes the metaphor of an aged figure of an individual whose exuberance of life is gradually fading away with its inevitability.
The next stanza starts with a commanding tone where Kenyon goes on to advise the cricket to search its call. The cricket is compared to a woman taking “ up her needles / and her yarn” and thus the poet once again implies about age along with purposefulness and earnestness. It can be envisaged that the process of knitting is associated with an aged lady. Also, the fruits of labor like the scarves, hats gloves and so on are actually things which provide with warmth and protect from the chills of the cold season.
The poem then goes on to describe how the dew would collect on the abandoned hoe. The poet evokes the stars and wishes for the “ silver horn” of the moon as this would actually bring a time of discovery and activity, in stark contrast to the generalized view of the night signaling the stiff end to the long day’s toil. Thus, the poem portrays the evening as the exuberant time of the unknown which still remains to be chartered by the individual. Kenyon also points to the fact that the close of the day also means the close of the rhythm of life and the movements. She aptly pens, “ Let the fox go back to its sandy den. / Let the wind die down. Let the shed / go black inside. Let evening come.”
The poem talks of the gradual progression of life in the various forms which meander through the natural ways toward the closure of temporality. A closure in one form does not necessarily mean that other objects and elements like the same would not be existent in the world. In the penultimate stanza, Jane Kenyon weaves her words quintessentially to exude this beauty. The poet evokes evening to come upon the bottle emptied of the drink, the scoop which is useless being devoid of a hand to operate it and the air which would be expelled from the lungs. These are prone to loss, but Kenyon still urges all of them to “ let evening come”.
Demise is feared by many individuals and the entire life is a journey which is spent in an attempt to shun the inevitable end to temporality. Discussions over death brings with it pangs of morbidity and uneasiness to the people. The individual is actually in fear of the unknown which impends and it makes one cringe as one imagines about losing control. Death represents the unchartered domain and the mind gets strayed from belief and faith and traverses to the realm which is yet to be discovered. Kenyon implies in the poem that there is nothing to fear of and one should be ready to embrace the inevitable instead of being afraid of it. She reiterates her words throughout this poem in a bid to make her readers comprehend that they need to let go of the fears which have been nurtured in the deepest corners of human heart. The poet emphatically writes in the very last stanza, “ Let it come, as it will, and don’t / be afraid. God does not leave us / comfortless, so let evening come.”
The poem preaches the reader to get rid of the inhibitions which keeps him or her from being weary about the impending evening of life. One should rather be inclined toward living life to the brim and experience everything from the innermost core of the heart. It is pointless to hold oneself back in fear or have tumultuous emotions in the heart regarding the inevitable end. Rather, it is appropriate to take it as an expedition to the realm where man has not trodden before in life. Kenyon keeps on repeating that the individual needs to “ let evening come” as if it were the inception of a new journey which would lead to a new dawn. She provides reassurance saying, “ God does not leave us / comfortless.” She shows faith in the Almighty and is urging her readers to do the same.
Thus, the poem talks of submission to the greater force in the universe. It urges one not to be afraid of the inevitable. The use of the language establishes the mood and the message of the poem with utmost clarity. The simple form of the poem renders it with a universal appeal to readers ranging from the different corners of the world. The content is metaphorical and ignites the philosophical wheel in the reader’s mind and teaches the omnipotent lesson of life that is to accept death as it comes. The poet employs the literary devices perfectly to find success in her creative pursuit.
Indeed, the individual needs to be aware of what waits for him or her at the last bend of the road of life. Yet, with faith in heart one should let go of the weariness and uncertainties which have bothered all along in the journey of life and tread toward death. God would never leave man in a state of jeopardy and discomfort and it is only through acceptance of the law of Nature and the mortal world that one can enjoy life to the fullest and reach the state of eternal bliss. Everything is destined to meet its end, but the journey never stops. Thus, the poem stands out and remains immortalized in the pages of literary history as a seminal work of creative art which delves deep into the ultimate truth of human life and the universe.
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