Denise Levertov
Adam’s Complaint by Denise Levertov

Adam’s Complaint by Denise Levertov

Some people, no matter what you give them,still want the moon.The bread, the salt, white meat and dark,still hungry.The marriage bed and the cradle,still empty arms.You give them ...

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Hymn To Eros by Denise Levertov

Hymn To Eros by Denise Levertov

O Eros, silently smiling one, hear me.Let the shadow of thy wings brush me.Let thy presenceenfold me, as if darknesswere swandown.Let me see that darknesslamp in hand,this country ...

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Aware by Denise Levertov

Aware by Denise Levertov

When I found the doorI found the vine leavesspeaking among themselves in abundantwhispers.My presence made themhush their green breath,embarrassed, the wayhumans stand up, ...

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The Secret by Denise Levertov

The Secret by Denise Levertov

Two girls discoverthe secret of lifein a sudden line ofpoetry.I who don't know thesecret wrotethe line. Theytold me(through a third person)they had found itbut not what it wasnot ...

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In California During The Gulf War by Denise Levertov

In California During The Gulf War by Denise Levertov

Among the blight-killed eucalypts, amongtrees and bushes rusted by Christmas frosts,the yards and hillsides exhausted by five years of drought,certain airy white blossoms ...

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A Tree Telling Of Orpheus by Denise Levertov

A Tree Telling Of Orpheus by Denise Levertov

White dawn. Stillness.When the rippling began &nbs p; I took it for sea-wind, coming to our valley with rumors &nb sp; of salt, of treeless horizons. But the white ...

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Talking To Grief by Denise Levertov

Talking To Grief by Denise Levertov

Ah, Grief, I should not treat youlike a homeless dogwho comes to the back doorfor a crust, for a meatless bone.I should trust you.I should coax youinto the house and give youyour ...

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To The Snake by Denise Levertov

To The Snake by Denise Levertov

Green Snake, when I hung you round my neckand stroked your cold, pulsing throatas you hissed to me, glintingarrowy gold scales, and I feltthe weight of you on my shoulders,and the ...

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Everything That Acts Is Actual by Denise Levertov

Everything That Acts Is Actual by Denise Levertov

From the tawny lightfrom the rainy nightsfrom the imagination findingitself and more than itselfalone and more than aloneat the bottom of the well where the moon lives,can you ...

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Zeroing In by Denise Levertov

Zeroing In by Denise Levertov

"I am a landscape," he said."a landscape and a person walking in that landscape.There are daunting cliffs there,And plains glad in their wayof brown monotony. But especiallythere ...

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Celebration by Denise Levertov

Celebration by Denise Levertov

Brilliant, this day – a young virtuoso of a day.Morning shadow cut by sharpest scissors,deft hands. And every prodigy of green – whether it's ferns or lichens or needlesor ...

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From The Roof by Denise Levertov

From The Roof by Denise Levertov

This wild night, gathering the washing as if it were flowers &n bsp; animal vines twisting over the line and slapping my face lightly, soundless merriment ...

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Bearing The Light by Denise Levertov

Bearing The Light by Denise Levertov

Rain-diamonds, this winter morning, embellish the tangle of unpruned pear-tree twigs; each solitaire, placed, it appearrs, with considered judgement, bears the light beneath the ...

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On The Mystery Of The Incarnation by Denise Levertov

On The Mystery Of The Incarnation by Denise Levertov

It's when we face for a momentthe worst our kind can do, and shudder to knowthe taint in our own selves, that awecracks the mind's shell and enters the heart:not to a flower, not ...

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Living by Denise Levertov

Living by Denise Levertov

The fire in leaf and grassso green it seemseach summer the last summer.The wind blowing, the leavesshivering in the sun,each day the last day.A red salamanderso cold and soeasy to ...

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Ikon: The Harrowing Of Hell by Denise Levertov

Ikon: The Harrowing Of Hell by Denise Levertov

Down through the tomb's inward archHe has shouldered out into Limboto gather them, dazed, from dreamless slumber:the merciful dead, the prophets,the innocents just His own age and ...

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Intrusion by Denise Levertov

Intrusion by Denise Levertov

After I had cut off my handsand grown new onessomething my former hands had longed forcame and asked to be rocked.After my plucked out eyeshad withered, and new ones ...

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An Excerpt From &Quot;Mass For The Day Of St. Thomas Didymus&Quot; by Denise Levertov

An Excerpt From &Quot;Mass For The Day Of St. Thomas Didymus&Quot; by Denise Levertov

iiGloriaPraise the wet snowfalling early.Praise the shadowmy neighor's chimney casts on the tile roofeven this gray October day that should, they say,have been golden.Praisethe ...

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In Mind by Denise Levertov

In Mind by Denise Levertov

There's in my mind a womanof innocence, unadorned butfair-featured and smelling ofapples or grass. She wearsa utopian smock or shift, her hairis light brown and smooth, and sheis ...

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The Ache Of Marriage by Denise Levertov

The Ache Of Marriage by Denise Levertov

The ache of marriage:thigh and tongue, beloved,are heavy with it,it throbs in the teethWe look for communionand are turned away, beloved,each and eachIt is leviathan and wein its ...

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An Embroidery by Denise Levertov

An Embroidery by Denise Levertov

Rose Red's hair is brown as furand shines in firelight as she preparessupper of honey and apples, curds and whey,for the bear, and leaves it readyon the hearth-stone.Rose White's ...

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Grey Sparrow Addresses The Mind’s Ear by Denise Levertov

Grey Sparrow Addresses The Mind’s Ear by Denise Levertov

In the Japanese tongue of the mind's eye one two syllable word tells of the fringe of rain clinging to the eaves and of the grey-green fronds of wild parsley.

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The Garden Wall by Denise Levertov

The Garden Wall by Denise Levertov

Bricks of the wall, so much older than the house - taken I think from a farm pulled down when the street was built - narrow bricks of another century. Modestly, though laid with ...

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Wedding-Ring by Denise Levertov

Wedding-Ring by Denise Levertov

My wedding-ring lies in a basket as if at the bottom of a well. Nothing will come to fish it back up and onto my finger again. &nb sp; &nbs p; It lies among keys ...

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Variation On A Theme By Rilke by Denise Levertov

Variation On A Theme By Rilke by Denise Levertov

A certain day became a presence to me;there it was, confronting me--a sky, air, light:a being. And before it started to descendfrom the height of noon, it leaned overand struck my ...

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Illustrious Ancestors by Denise Levertov

Illustrious Ancestors by Denise Levertov

The Ravof Northern White Russia declined,in his youth, to learn thelanguage of birds, becausethe extraneous did not interest him; neverthelesswhen he grew old it was foundhe ...

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Contraband by Denise Levertov

Contraband by Denise Levertov

The tree of knowledge was the tree of reason.That's why the taste of itdrove us from Eden. That fruitwas meant to be dried and milled to a fine powderfor use a pinch at a time, a ...

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The Dog Of Art by Denise Levertov

The Dog Of Art by Denise Levertov

That dog with daisies for eyeswho flashes forthflame of his very self at every barkis the Dog of Art.Worked in wool, his blind eyeslook inward to caverns and jewels which they see ...

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Losing Track by Denise Levertov

Losing Track by Denise Levertov

Long after you have swung backaway from meI think you are still with me:you come in close to the shoreon the tideand nudge me awake the waya boat adrift nudges the pier:am I a ...

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September 1961 by Denise Levertov

September 1961 by Denise Levertov

This is the year the old ones,the old great onesleave us alone on the road.The road leads to the sea.We have the words in our pockets,obscure directions. The old oneshave taken ...

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People At Night by Denise Levertov

People At Night by Denise Levertov

A night that cuts between you and youand you and you and youand me : jostles us apart, a man elbowingthrough a crowd. & nbsp; We won't &nbs p; ; look for ...

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Seeing For A Moment by Denise Levertov

Seeing For A Moment by Denise Levertov

I thought I was growing wings—it was a cocoon.I thought, now is the time to stepinto the fire—it was deep water.Eschatology is a word I learnedas a child: the study of Last ...

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To The Reader by Denise Levertov

To The Reader by Denise Levertov

As you read, a white bear leisurelypees, dyeing the snowsaffron,and as you read, many godslie among lianas: eyes of obsidianare watching the generations of leaves,and as you ...

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The Metier Of Blossoming by Denise Levertov

The Metier Of Blossoming by Denise Levertov

Fully occupied with growing--that'sthe amaryllis. Growing especiallyat night: it would takeonly a bit more patience than I've gotto sit keeping watch with it till daylight;the ...

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The Thread by Denise Levertov

The Thread by Denise Levertov

Something is very gently, invisibly, silently, pulling at me-a thread or net of threads finer than cobweb and as elastic. I haven't tried the strength of it. No barbed hook ...

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Wanting The Moon by Denise Levertov

Wanting The Moon by Denise Levertov

Not the moon. A floweron the other side of the water.The water sweeps past in flood,dragging a whole tree by the hair,a barn, a bridge. The flowersings on the far bank.Not a ...

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Pleasures by Denise Levertov

Pleasures by Denise Levertov

I like to findwhat's not foundat once, but lieswithin something of another nature,in repose, distinct.Gull feathers of glass, hiddenin white pulp: the bones of squidwhich I pull ...

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The Breathing by Denise Levertov

The Breathing by Denise Levertov

An absolutepatience.Trees standup to their knees infog. The fogslowly flowsuphill.Whitecobwebs, the grass leaning where deer have looked for apples.The woodsfrom brook to wherethe ...

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The Elves by Denise Levertov

The Elves by Denise Levertov

Elves are no smallerthan men, and walkas men do, in this world,but with more grace than most,and are not immortal.Their beauty sets them asidefrom other men and from womenunless a ...

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The Mutes by Denise Levertov

The Mutes by Denise Levertov

Those groans men usepassing a woman on the streetor on the steps of the subwayto tell her she is a femaleand their flesh knows it,are they a sort of tune,an ugly enough song, ...

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The Avowal by Denise Levertov

The Avowal by Denise Levertov

As swimmers dareto lie face to the skyand water bears them,as hawks rest upon airand air sustains them,so would I learn to attainfreefall, and floatinto Creator Spirit’s deep ...

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What Were They Like? by Denise Levertov

What Were They Like? by Denise Levertov

Did the people of Viet Namuse lanterns of stone?Did they hold ceremoniesto reverence the opening of buds?Were they inclined to quiet laughter?Did they use bone and ivory,jade and ...

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Stepping Westward by Denise Levertov

Stepping Westward by Denise Levertov

What is green in medarkens, muscadine.If woman is inconstant,good, I am faithful toebb and flow, I fallin season and nowis a time of ripening.If her partis to be true,a north ...

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The Well by Denise Levertov

The Well by Denise Levertov

At sixteen I believed the moonlight could change me if it would. I moved my headon the pillow, even moved my bedas the moon slowlycrossed the open lattice.I wanted ...

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Looking, Walking, Being by Denise Levertov

Looking, Walking, Being by Denise Levertov

"The World is not something tolook at, it is something to be in."Mark RudmanI look and look.Looking's a way of being: one becomes,sometimes, a pair of eyes walking.Walking ...

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The Sea’s Wash In The Hollow Of The Heart… by Denise Levertov

The Sea’s Wash In The Hollow Of The Heart… by Denise Levertov

Turn from that road's beguiling ease; returnto your hunger's turret. Enter, climb the stairchill with disuse, where the croaking toad of timeregards from shimmering eyes your slow ...

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The Rainwalkers by Denise Levertov

The Rainwalkers by Denise Levertov

An old man whose black faceshines golden-brown as wet pebblesunder the streetlamp, is walking two mongrel dogs of dis-proportionate size, in the rain,in the relaxed early-evening ...

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Caedmon by Denise Levertov

Caedmon by Denise Levertov

All others talked as if talk were a dance. Clodhopper I, with clumsy feet would break the gliding ring. Early I learned to hunch myself close by the door: then when the talk began ...

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Triple Feature by Denise Levertov

Triple Feature by Denise Levertov

Innocent decision: to enjoy.And the pathosof hopefulness, of his solicitude:--he in mended serape,she having plaited carefullymagenta ribbons into her hair,the baby a round ...

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St. Peter And The Angel by Denise Levertov

St. Peter And The Angel by Denise Levertov

Delivered out of raw continual pain,smell of darkness, groans of those othersto whom he was chained--unchained, and ledpast the sleepers,door after door silently opening--out! ...

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