Poetry Sunday: Inertia by Jane Kenyon
I'm sure we've all experienced moments like the one that Jane Kenyon describes in her poem. Moments when we are overcome by a feeling of lethargy, languor, torpor - whatever you might choose to call it. Kenyon calls it inertia.
by Jane Kenyon
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,
Just then a centipede
reared from the spine
of my open dictionary. lt 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 it
get itself 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.