Since I’ve been writing more poetry, I’ve been reading more poetry lately. I’ve read some newer stuff, but I’ve also been reading many of the classics, including William Blake, T.S. Eliot, and W.B. Yeats.
I recently read an anthology of 20th century American poetry that was comprehensive regarding the poets it included. One of the poets that struck me the most was John Berryman, and the anthology included poems from his much-celebrated volume called The Dream Songs.
Nostalgia always comes with a bit of bad memory
back in the day, I remember life being calmer
but who’s to say?
My father stumbled in stadium parking lots drunk back in those days
+ I still had depressions that didn’t seem to go away
So what’s so different ’bout back then + the present day?
(Photo by Ajeet Mestry on Unsplash)
We’re living in dangerous times. Some people (like my girlfriend) seem to be able to cope with it better than me. For me, though, a lot of the things going on in the world have me feeling very on edge.
Here we are, nearly four months into the pandemic. The whole thing has been a very strange experience, for all us. It’s been a shared experience across the planet, though some countries have managed it better than others. I’m learning that the ability to adapt is so important.
Depression is like draining the color from all
perception, until you see complete darkness –
like becoming blind in an instant, and having
to rely on the other four senses to navigate
a harsh landscape. It appears without warning,
as if you’re traveling on a frozen lake and the
ice gives way – you sink into the water, you cry,
you flail your arms – but all you can do is stay
afloat until the sun appears again and
(Photo by Collin Hardy on Unsplash)
Rachel has told me many times before of her struggles with anxiety. When I listened to her, I used to not be able to understand it. I’ve always thought of myself as a fairly calm person, and I can remember many moments from over the past several years where I’ve felt very peaceful.
It’s relatively easy for me to fall into a depressed mood. It’s also something I’ve struggled with for as long as I can remember. What I’m coming to realize, though, is looking at depression as an enemy that must be fought only puts me deeper in the hole.