On Depression: One

I recently ran across this poem, by the great poet Jane Kenyon, who battled depression for most of her life.

I’ve written many things on this blog about what depression is to me, how it feels, yet, somehow, the words never seem to be quite right.

Then, I ran across this poem, and it says so many things I haven’t been able to articulate as concisely as she has here.

I made the graphic, and, I used a ‘distortion’ filter to make the words and letters appear out-of-whack.  As my bloger friend, The Dad Poet,  and I talked about the other day, poetry is as much about the visual of the words on the page, as it is about the words themselves.

Ms Kenyon died young, of leukemia, at the age of forty-seven.  I hope that she’ll forgive my distorting the image of her poem, but, the strangeness of the letters and words seems to echo how I feel when I am depressed, and on pharmaceuticals.

Jane Kenyon

4 thoughts on “On Depression: One

    • Thanks, Doug.

      I’d never read anything by her before, but, after reading this poem, I ordered a book from Amazon, which should be here soon. I’m looking forward to reading more of her poetry.

  1. Kenyon’s one of my all-time favorite poets. Glad to see your posting. She does indeed put depression into words like no one else. Just for the record, this is not a stand-alone poem, but section 8 of her 9-part masterpiece, Having It Out With Melancholy, as I expect you know. I only mention it so anyone interested can look up the whole thing. It’s so good. Thanks again.

    • When I made this post, I had never heard of Jane Kenyon — I ran across the poem in a book of essays about depression. Very shortly after, I ordered a book, the complete collected poems, of Jane Kenyon, and realized that this was part of a larger poem.

      I’m glad you mention it, because I hadn’t thought to come back to this post and add that it was part of a larger poem. And, you’re right … people will now know, and, they can find the entire poem cycle here: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15920

      Thank you Ruth!

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