To Make A Speaking Voice


Donald Hall and Jane Kenyon

A Friend Revisited

by Donald Hall

Beside the door
She stood who I had known before.
I saw the work of seven years
In graying hair and worried eyes,
And in a smile:
“Find in me only what appears,
And let me rest awhile.”

Though it had not been honesty
Always to say the sudden word
When she was young,
I liked the old disguise
Better than what I had heard –
False laughter on the tongue
That once had made all efforts to seem free.

I do not ask for final honesty
Since none can say
“This is my motive, this is me,”
But I will pray
Deliberation and a shaping choice
To make a speaking voice.

Briefly It Enters, and Briefly Speaks

By Jane Kenyon

I am the blossom pressed in a book,
found again after two hundred years….

I am the maker, the lover, and the keeper….

When the young girl who starves
sits down to a table
she will sit beside me….

I am food on the prisoner’s plate….

I am water rushing to the wellhead,
filling the pitcher until it spills….

I am the patient gardener
of the dry and weedy garden….

I am the stone step,
the latch, and the working hinge….

I am the heart contracted by joy…
the longest hair, white
before the rest….

I am there in the basket of fruit
presented to the widow….

I am the musk rose opening
unattended, the fern on the boggy summit….

I am the one whose love
overcomes you, already with you
when you think to call my name….

Published by

A Sonnet Obsession

I am a life-long Minnesotan who resides in Minneapolis. I hope you enjoy my curated selection of sonnets, short poems and nerdy ruminations. I support the costs of providing Fourteenlines, as it is my intention for it to be an ad free poetry resource, for entertainment purposes only, for the benefit of anyone wanting more poetry in their life.

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