Jan. 30, 2001

Let Evening Come

by Jane Kenyon

Broadcast date: TUESDAY, 30 January 2001

Poem: "Let Evening Come," by Jane Kenyon, from Let Evening Come (Graywolf Press).

Let Evening Come

Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving
up the bales as the sun moves down.

Let the crickets 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.

It's the birthday of Michael Dorris, born in Louisville, Kentucky (1945). He's the author of A Yellow Raft in Blue Water (1987), The Cloud Chamber (1997), and The Broken Cord (1989), about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. He struggled with depression, and committed suicide in 1997.

It's the birthday of poet and novelist Richard Brautigan, born in Tacoma, Washington (1935). He left home at 18, moved to San Francisco, and befriended Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg. Kurt Vonnegut heard about his work, and got him published nationally. His first novel was The Confederate General from Big Sur (1964); Trout Fishing in America came out in 1967. He committed suicide when he was 49.

On this day in 1933, the WXYZ radio audience in Detroit, Michigan, was the first to hear the words, "A fiery horse, with the speed of light, a cloud of dust, and a hearty 'Hi-Yo Silver!', The Lone Ranger!!" By the end of the decade 400 radio stations carried the program, with its theme song, Rossini's "William Tell Overture."

It's the birthday of historian Barbara Tuchman, born in New York City (1912). Her grandfather had been U.S. ambassador to Turkey and Mexico under President Woodrow Wilson; an uncle served as the secretary of the treasury under President Franklin D. Roosevelt; and her father was a banker and an owner of the Nation magazine. She's the author of The Guns of August (1962), Stilwell and the American Experience in China(1970), and other books.

"The writer's object is—or should be—to hold the reader's attention. I want the reader to turn the page and keep on turning to the end. This is accomplished only when the narrative moves steadily ahead, not when it comes to a weary standstill, overloaded with every item uncovered in research."

It's the birthday of the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, born in Hyde Park, New York (1882), the only child in a wealthy family. He was nameless for the first seven weeks of his life because his mother wanted to call him Warren, and his father wanted to call him Isaac. When he was five, his father took him to the White House where he met President Grover Cleveland. The President patted him on the head and said, "My little man, I am making a strange wish for you. It's that you may never be President of the United States." He was partially crippled by polio when he was 39, but with therapy was able to stand and walk very short distances, though he had to be lifted in and out automobiles.

"If you have spent two years in bed trying to wiggle your big toe, then anything else seems easy."

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




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