Thursday, March 09, 2006

Poetry Thursday - Levertov

Photography: Rattlesnake Ridge, Washington,
From our private collection


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 needles
or impatient points of buds on spindly bushes –
greener than ever before. And the way the conifers
hold new cones to the light for the blessing,
a festive right, and sing the oceanic chant the wind
transcribes for them!
A day that shines in the cold
like a first-prize brass band swinging along
the street
of a coal-dusty village, wholly at odds
with the claims of reasonable gloom.

~ Denise Levertov ~

© 1999 Denise Levertov, from The Great Unknowing: Last Poems

      Denise Levertov, 1923-1997
Born in England, Levertov and her husband emigrated to the US in 1948 where she taught at Brandeis, MIT, Tufts, UW, and Stanford. A celebrated American poet, she published 20 books of poetry. Inspired by Mt. Rainier, she lived in Seattle from 1982 until her death.

            © David Geier Photography


Cate said...

How could I NOT have heard of Denise Levertov? Her words are simply vibrant--what a feast it was to read this this morning! I reread it several times, just savoring each word and image. Thanks, Sky, for introducing me to Levertov's work. I'm going to look for more!

Cate said...

I forgot--gorgeous photograph, too. It complements the poem perfectly!

megg said...

I just spent a lovely few minutes reading though your last few entries. They were all lovely, absolutely lovely!!

Karen said...

That is such a beautiful poem. Thanks for sharing it. Your journal is beautiful also.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

It is amazing how well that poem described how this Friday morning began. Levertov's words are magnificent, and your photo works perfectly with them.

la vie en rose said...

this one is new to me. i've read some of levertov but never this one. it's brilliant. thanks for sharing.

MB said...

Another lovely choice!

dog1net said...

Levertov has always been one of my favorites along with Bishop and Greger. What I've always liked about her work are the vivid images that connect us to the larger aspects of the human experience. Thanks for coming by,

liz elayne said...

These words are dancing through my head. Beautiful. You have introduced me to yet another poet who I can't wait to read more of.
Thank you.

JourneyThroughLIfe said...

Such a beautiful picture. It reminds me of one of the things I loved about my time in America. The beauty and energy of the pine forests. A memory dear to my heart. Thanks, Sky

colleen said...

Yes, I was near Beaufort SC and I did see photos of Nick Nolte and Tom Hanks all around town. I'm originally from Boston but have lived in Virginia for the past 20 years.

It was nice to learn a little more about Denise Levertov.

mreddie said...

Enjoyed the poem and the photo it seemed to describe. Noticed in your profile that you are from the south - wouldn't be South Carolina by chance? We live in S.C. near Augusta, Georgia. ec

Sky said...

Thanks to all of you for your nice comments about this selection. I am glad some of you have found a new poet here. One reason I enjoy Poetry Thursdays is that it encourages us to read more poetry, and we learn about new poets.

It was nice to see your words here, and I am glad you came by. I hope those of you who are new to the page will come again - it is always nice to meet new friends. :)

Endment said...

Looking out the window at the woods my mind and my eyes are opened by the words of the poem.

Denise Levertov is a new poet for me - thank you for the introduction

Laini Taylor said...

Love those first few images - shadows cut by the sharpest scissors. Awesome.

Letha Sandison said...

Thank you for this beautiful poem!! I had not read her before and am thrilled to discover a new poetess. Lovely!!

Mary said...

I've heard of Denise Levertov but this is the first poem of hers that I've actually read - and how beautiful it is, I love the rhythm and flow of it. I'm very grateful for the introduction, Sky, thank you.

missy said...

Hiya, I'm coming from my other blog, the vegetarian recipes one. I'm glad that you dropped by, too! You've got such a lovely place here!

Patry Francis said...

Levertov is wonderful--and that first line!

RavenGrrl said...

sky, I appreciate the way you include a link and photo or portrait of the poets on your Poetry Thursday posts. That's helpful. and ... I have to say you and I have similar taste in poets and poetry. The last three you've posted: Levertov, Tagore and May Sarton are three poets whose work I have on my library shelves -- 3 of my favorites. Good choices for PT. I'll check your blog every Thursday. It's a beautiful blog! :)

jenclair said...

I've posted two of my favorite poems by these two beloved poets recently. Levertov's "The Secret" and Sexton's "Welcome Morning" . Both poets are old friends and provide joy on every reading of my favorites.