denise levertov

I thought I would be more into Levertov based on what I read about her, but the heart wants what it wants. Her poems just didn’t click with me. I think they’re good, but I’m just not feeling it for whatever reason. The ones that struck me most were the ones about mundanity, but I think that’s where my interest is these days. She was also an activist and wrote in response to current events and injustice. Those were interesting, but again, ultimately they just didn’t resonate with me. Oh well.

The Dogwood

The sink is full of dishes. Oh well.
Ten o’clock, there’s no
hot water.
The kitchen floor is unswept, the broom
has been shedding straws. Oh well.

The cat is sleeping. Nikolai is sleeping,
Mitch is sleeping, early to bed,
asprin for a cold. Oh well.

No school tomorrow, someone for lunch,
4 dollars left from the 10 – how did that go?
Mostly on food. Oh well.

I could decide
to hear some chamber music
and today I saw – what?
Well, some huge soft deep
blackly gazing purple
and red ( and pale )
anemones. Does that
take my mind off the dishes?
And dogwood besides.
Oh well. Early to bed, and I’ll get up
early and put
a shine on everything and write
a letter to Duncan later that will shine too
with moonshine. Can I make it? Oh well.

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The Goddess

She in whose lipservice
I passed my time,
whose name I knew, but not her face,
came upon me where I lay in Lie Castle!

Flung me across the room, and
room after room (hitting the walls, re-
bounding – to the last
sticky wall – wrenching away from it
pulled hair out!)
till I lay
outside the outer walls!

There in cold air
lying still where her hand had thrown me,
I tasted the mud that splattered my lips:
the seeds of a forest were in it,
Asleep and growing! I tasted
her power!

The silence was answering my silence,
a forest was pushing itself
out of sleep between my submerged fingers.

I bit on a seed and it spoke on my tongue
of day that shone already among stars
in the water-mirror of low ground,
and a wind rising ruffled the lights:
she passed near me returning from the encounter,
she who plucked me from the close rooms,

without whom nothing
flowers, fruits, sleeps in season,
without whom nothing
speaks in its own tongue, but returns
lie for lie!

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