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. . . .
Briefly It Enters
Composer(s): William Bolcom
Song(s): 1. Who
2. The Clearing
4. February: Thinking of Flowers
5. Twilight: After Haying Text: Jane Kenyon6. Man Eating
7. The Sick Wife
8. Peonies at Dusk
9. Briefly It Enters, and Briefly Speaks