DEPARTURE: Refusal of the Call
“Let Evening Come” by Jane Kenyon
Refusal of the Call
Every hero’s journey includes the hero refusing, or trying to refuse, the call. We have so many excellent reasons for saying no. Adventure is messy, dangerous, and does not come with guaranteed outcomes. It is not a sure thing.
But to refuse it is to refuse its gifts.
Let Evening Come
Jane Kenyon just might be my favorite poet. She died at age 47 from leukemia, but her poems are written in the context of the depression she carried throughout her life. (Read “Evening Sun” to get a sense of how far back it goes.)
There are many ways to read this poem, but for purposes of the Hero’s Poetry Journey, I am letting “evening” symbolize the call I want to refuse.
Evening means darkness, and I don’t want any part of it. But Kenyon speaks calmly, as calmly as the light moving up the barnyard bales as the sun moves down. She says:
Let it come, as it will, and don’t
Be A Hero
Before you refuse the call, listen to this reading of Let Evening Come. Picture each detail: the bales, the cricket, the hoe, the stars, the moon, the fox, the shed, the bottle, the scoop. We are not left “comfortless” as we depart on this adventure.
Let evening come.
Sit with the poem this week. See if you can memorize one line.
Try to learn a little of this poem by heart.
What does it say about your hero’s journey?
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