Friday, November 20, 2009

Poetry Friday

It's Friday, so it's time for a poem. And one of my favorite, contemporary poets is Jane Kenyon. Like my other favorite contemporary poet, Mary Oliver, Kenyon had a way of looking at the small, everyday things in nature through a wide-eyed, spiritual lens. But unlike Oliver, Kenyon wrote just as eloquently about her dark struggles with crushing chronic depression. As anyone who has lived with chronic depression for years knows, the only "good" thing about it is when you have those periods of grace when it lifts. You appreciate in a whole different way being able to make a dentist appointment, write a poem, work in the garden, and not feel utterly hopeless. Because you know that one day the "black dog", the "unholy ghost" will return.

"Otherwise" Jane Kenyon

I got out of bed on two strong legs.
It might have been otherwise.
I ate cereal, sweet milk,
ripe flawless peach. It might have been
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.

At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver candlesticks.
It might have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed in a room
with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day just like
this day.
But one day, I know
it will be otherwise.

No comments:

Post a Comment