Let Evening Come

Jane Kenyon

Let the light of late afternoon

shine through chinks in the barn, moving
up the bales as the sun moves down.

Let the cricket take up chafing
as a woman takes up her needles
and her yarn. Let evening come.

Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.

Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
Let the wind die down. Let the shed
go black inside. Let evening come.

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
in the oats, to air in the lung
let evening come.

Let it come, as it will, and don’t
be afraid. God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come.

Let Evening Come

This is a comfort poem for me, especially read aloud – rhythmic, musical – it’s almost a lullaby. The movement from day to night is so consistent, so reliable, that I feel I can trust it, am held by it.

The images of beauty in the natural world are so simply and clearly presented, framed by the repetition of ‘let evening come’, that I can see and hear each one.

There is a slowing down that I feel as I read this and hear the invitation to ‘let evening come’. It evokes the inevitability of the ending of a day and perhaps also even the ending of life.

Who/whatever God may be for you, she tells us not to be afraid, that we will not be left comfortless. And though I can’t say why, I believe her assurance and find comfort in her words.

What about you? Reading this, can you trust you are not alone and not resist the ending of the day?

13 thoughts on “Let Evening Come

  1. Combining this poem with this gorgeous photo is brilliant. I have loved this poem for a long time and have read it many times but never thought about it as having the rhythms of a lullaby so thank you for that. I was so happy to have found this just now as I am beginning my day of work on my book. I am so grateful to have found heart poems and appreciate your thoughtful comments and sensitive selections. I am sharing this on the WordSPA Facebook page with a grateful heart.


  2. Oh, Jan, the images of the beauty in nature in this poem are so beautiful I can almost feel them in my body. Thank you for sharing this poem. love, Margaret 613-725-6941 h 613-795-9879 c

    “The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.”

    – Thich Nhat Hanh



  3. Dear Jan – Thank you for sharing this poem, truly a heart poem if ever there was one. Reading it brings me a quiet trust and poignant gratefulness for the beauty of this world, the beauty of our work (the ‘abandoned hoe’), and courage to ‘let the shed go black inside.’ Love – Mary Lou


  4. Thanks Jan for this – you are right, it does have the energy of a lullaby – so reassuring and calming – invites a surrender to that which is greater – shall we let evening come, fall into its arms in that deep surrender – yummmmm!


  5. Hi Jan Hope you are well. I was talking to Mary Lou today and learned a bit about the journey you and her have been on with Kim.  I mentioned to Mary Lou that I was interested in taking my MA in Councilling at St Paul’s and she thought you had done that. If so would love to talk to you about it if you have the time or inclination. I can buy you a tea or coffee. Let me know if you are available. Thanks Jill Chitra PS love the website

    From: Heart Poems To: jchitra@rogers.com Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2017 6:03 PM Subject: [New post] Let Evening Come #yiv9566070614 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv9566070614 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv9566070614 a.yiv9566070614primaryactionlink:link, #yiv9566070614 a.yiv9566070614primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv9566070614 a.yiv9566070614primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv9566070614 a.yiv9566070614primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv9566070614 WordPress.com | janfalls posted: “Jane KenyonLet the light of late afternoonshine through chinks in the barn, movingup the bales as the sun moves down.Let the cricket take up chafingas a woman takes up her needlesand her yarn. Let evening come.Let dew collect on the hoe aband” | |


    • Hi Jill, I would love to talk with you. I did not do my MA at St Paul’s but my daughter is starting her masters there this fall. Let’s find a time and place to meet; it would be good to see you. xoxoxo


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