A Poem for a Thursday #79

Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

Jane Kenyon was an American poet and translator. I featured one of her poems before. You can find it here.

My head was heavy, heavy;
so was the atmosphere.
I had to ask two times 
before my hand would scratch my ear.
I thought I should be out
and doing! The grass, for one thing,
needed mowing.

Just then a centipede
reared from the spine
of my open dictionary. It tried
the air with enterprising feelers,
then made its way along the gorge
between 202 and 203. The valley 
of the shadow of death came to mind

It can't be easy for the left hand
to know what the right is doing.
And how, on such a day, when the sky
is hazy and perfunctory, how
does a centipede get started
without feeling muddled and heavy-hearted?

Well, it had its fill of etymology.
I watched it pull its tail
over the edge of the page, and vanish
in a pile of mail. 

Jane Kenyon


  1. I love this one, and relate to it all too much these days.