Friday, September 01, 2006

Having it Out with Melancholy

If many remedies are prescribed for an illness, you may be certain that the illness has no cure.
A. P. CHEKHOV The Cherry Orchard


High on Nardil and June light
I wake at four,
waiting greedily for the first
note of the wood thrush. Easeful air
presses through the screen
with the wild, complex song
of the bird, and I am overcome

by ordinary contentment.
What hurt me so terribly
all my life until this moment?
How I love the small, swiftly
beating heart of the bird
singing in the great maples;
its bright, unequivocal eye.

---Jane Kenyon


sam of the ten thousand things said...

I've always been amazed with the ease of a Jane Kenyon poem-- In this poem, "I am overcome // by ordinary contentment" and the wood thrush, singing, with "its bright, unequivocal eye."

As a writer she was drawn to the small things... Like Bishop, Dickinson, Stafford. And here she gives the readers a question to carry them the rest of their lives-- "What hurt me so terribly / all my life until this moment?" Yes.

Sheryl said...

I like this poem a lot, too! It is so peaceful.

Suzanne said...

Yes, Sam, yes, exactly.

The is just the close of the poem, you should read the whole thing, it's a knock out.