Sunday, March 1, 2015

Denise Levertov

Denise Levertov [Poetry Society of America]

Memory demands so much

Memory demands so much,
it wants every fiber
told and retold.
                          It gives and gives
but for a price, making you
risk drudgery, lapse
into document, treacheries
of glaring noon and a slow march.
Leaf never before
seen or envisioned, flying spider
of rose-red autumn, playing
a lone current of undecided wind,
lift me with you, take me
off this ground of memory that clings
to my feet like thick clay,
exacting gratitude for gifts and gifts.
Take me flying before
you vanish, leaf, before
I have time to remember you,
intent instead on being
in the midst of that flight,
of those unforeseeable words.

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment