December 10th, 2013

Denise Levertov Will Make Your Brain Melt

This poem? I’m stunned, in the same way that you want to follow and retain a shooting star’s trajectory (but can’t), with the way Levertov forces silence into place, between the words, merging both sides of your brain while you absorb the essence of her secret code — honestly, a transcendental incantation.

Once Only

All which, because it was
flame and song and granted us
joy, we thought we’d do, be, revisit,
turns out to have been what it was
that once, only; every initiation
did not begin
a series, a build-up: the marvelous
did happen in our lives, our stories
are not drab with its absence: but don’t
expect now to return for more. Whatever more
there will be will be
unique as those were unique. Try
to acknowledge the next
song in its body-halo of flames as utterly
present, as now or never.

 

Painting, Painting by Joan Miro, 1925


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