“What Came to Me”

Posted on March 22, 2010
Filed under Poems to inspire | 12 Comments | Email This Post

Poetry is a packsack of invisible keepsakes.” ~Carl Sandburg

Amazing, isn’t it — how small things can hold so much? With the precision of a haiku poet, Jane Kenyon delivers a heart-load of emotion in this short but powerful poem. Anyone who loves the domestic arts will fall in love with Kenyon’s poetry. She had a gift for revealing the sacred in the mundane, reminding us that even the most ordinary objects we own can represent a wealth of memories, stories, and lessons. –CL

What Came to Me
By Jane Kenyon

I took the last
dusty piece of china
out of the barrel.
It was your gravy boat,
with a hard, brown
drop of gravy still
on the porcelain lip.
I grieved for you then
as I never had before.

-Reprinted from Jane Kenyon Collected Poems; Graywolf Press; 2005–

— Kitchen photo by Cindy La Ferle —

This post is part of a weekly poetry appreciation series. Want more? Check out Poems to Inspire in the CATEGORIES column at right.


12 Responses to ““What Came to Me””

  1. Bridgette on March 22nd, 2010 8:07 am

    I know just how she felt:(

  2. Joanne on March 22nd, 2010 8:52 am

    I’d take this one step further and say that the very richest of our wealth comes from those ordinary moments, things, places, spilling over with beautiful memory. Beautiful verse today …

  3. giftsofthejourney (Elizabeth Harper) on March 22nd, 2010 12:03 pm

    It is powerful and I think amazing in the way that one word, ” grieved ” can change the whole direction and emotion of the poem while still leaving room for the reader to personalize it to fit their story

  4. deb @ talk at the table on March 22nd, 2010 5:35 pm

    Oh, this just made me gasp.

    thank you sharing this, Cindy. Oh how life is such mystery.

  5. shona cole on March 23rd, 2010 2:56 am

    Oh, that is beautiful, thanks for the recommendation. and thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog and your kind words.

  6. Jenn on March 23rd, 2010 9:04 am

    Cindy, this reminds me of the deepest memories and how often the ones which stir the most have been suppressed in someway or still not completely felt through into wholeness. These moments are essential for coming out in the open and even then to be celebrated! thanks for sharing 😉
    hugs, Jenn

  7. Angie Muresan on March 23rd, 2010 2:50 pm

    I find it so fascinating how a little thing can bring such memories to the surface. Thank you for sharing that, Cindy.

  8. Elizabeth on March 24th, 2010 1:37 am

    I really love Jane Kenyon’s poetry and am happy to be reminded of it. I am going, now, to pull down the collected poetry and go through it…Thank you!

  9. susan on March 24th, 2010 7:44 pm

    Kenyon is the best

    Finding a Long Gray Hair…
    another of my favorites

  10. Cindy on March 24th, 2010 8:06 pm

    Susan, you’re sending me to my collections of Kenyon’s poetry for “Finding a Long Gray Hair” — thanks for the tip!

  11. Grete Kempton on March 27th, 2010 11:08 am

    Small words, yet with such power! Reminding me that the world is but one small detail after another….

  12. Cindy La Ferle on April 8th, 2010 9:46 am

    Talk about inspiration — I realized after reading this poem that I do NOT have a gravy boat for the china I always use. So I ordered one. It just arrived, and I suspect I will think of this poem every time i use it ….

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