Get Your Premium Membership

Denise Levertov Short Poems

Famous Short Denise Levertov Poems. Short poetry by famous poet Denise Levertov. A collection of the all-time best Denise Levertov short poems


by Denise Levertov
 There's in my mind a woman
of innocence, unadorned but

fair-featured and smelling of
apples or grass.
She wears a utopian smock or shift, her hair is light brown and smooth, and she is kind and very clean without ostentation- but she has no imagination And there's a turbulent moon-ridden girl or old woman, or both, dressed in opals and rags, feathers and torn taffeta, who knows strange songs but she is not kind.



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 pierced and tore me.
Was it not long ago this thread began to draw me? Or way back? Was I born with its knot about my neck, a bridle? Not fear but a stirring of wonder makes me catch my breath when I feel the tug of it when I thought it had loosened itself and gone.

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 land, their own earth under their feet, still they take to the roads.
And water: dig them the deepest well, still it's not deep enough to drink the moon from.

by Denise Levertov
 It's when we face for a moment
the worst our kind can do, and shudder to know
the taint in our own selves, that awe
cracks the mind's shell and enters the heart:
not to a flower, not to a dolphin,
to no innocent form
but to this creature vainly sure
it and no other is god-like, God
(out of compassion for our ugly
failure to evolve) entrusts,
as guest, as brother,
the Word.

by Denise Levertov
 I thought I was growing wings—
it was a cocoon.
I thought, now is the time to step into the fire— it was deep water.
Eschatology is a word I learned as a child: the study of Last Things; facing my mirror—no longer young, the news—always of death, the dogs—rising from sleep and clamoring and howling, howling, nevertheless I see for a moment that's not it: it is the First Things.
Word after word floats through the glass.
Towards me.



by Denise Levertov
 As swimmers dare
to lie face to the sky
and water bears them,
as hawks rest upon air
and air sustains them,
so would I learn to attain
freefall, and float
into Creator Spirit’s deep embrace,
knowing no effort earns
that all-surrounding grace.

Living  Create an image from this poem
by Denise Levertov
 The fire in leaf and grass
so green it seems
each summer the last summer.
The wind blowing, the leaves shivering in the sun, each day the last day.
A red salamander so cold and so easy to catch, dreamily moves his delicate feet and long tail.
I hold my hand open for him to go.
Each minute the last minute.

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 descend from the height of noon, it leaned over and struck my shoulder as if with the flat of a sword, granting me honor and a task.
The day's blow rang out, metallic--or it was I, a bell awakened, and what I heard was my whole self saying and singing what it knew: I can.

Web  Create an image from this poem
by Denise Levertov
 Intricate and untraceable 
weaving and interweaving,
dark strand with light:

designed, beyond
all spiderly contrivance,
to link, not to entrap:

elation, grief, joy, contrition, entwined;

shaking, changing,

forever

forming, 

transforming:

all praise,

all praise to the

great web.

by Denise Levertov
 Long after you have swung back
away from me
I think you are still with me:

you come in close to the shore
on the tide
and nudge me awake the way

a boat adrift nudges the pier:
am I a pier
half-in half-out of the water?

and in the pleasure of that communion
I lose track,
the moon I watch goes down, the

tide swings you away before
I know I'm
alone again long since,

mud sucking at gray and black
timbers of me,
a light growth of green dreams drying.

by Denise Levertov
 Elves are no smaller
than men, and walk
as men do, in this world,
but with more grace than most,
and are not immortal.
Their beauty sets them aside from other men and from women unless a woman has that cold fire in her called poet: with that she may see them and by its light they know her and are not afraid and silver tongues of love flicker between them.

by Denise Levertov
 The ache of marriage:

thigh and tongue, beloved,
are heavy with it,
it throbs in the teeth

We look for communion
and are turned away, beloved,
each and each

It is leviathan and we
in its belly
looking for joy, some joy
not to be known outside it

two by two in the ark of
the ache of it.

by Denise Levertov
 That dog with daisies for eyes
who flashes forth
flame of his very self at every bark
is the Dog of Art.
Worked in wool, his blind eyes look inward to caverns and jewels which they see perfectly, and his voice measures forth the treasure in music sharp and loud, sharp and bright, bright flaming barks, and growling smoky soft, the Dog of Art turns to the world the quietness of his eyes.

by Denise Levertov
 An absolute
patience.
Trees stand up to their knees in fog.
The fog slowly flows uphill.
White cobwebs, the grass leaning where deer have looked for apples.
The woods from brook to where the top of the hill looks over the fog, send up not one bird.
So absolute, it is no other than happiness itself, a breathing too quiet to hear.

by Denise Levertov
 After I had cut off my hands
and grown new ones

something my former hands had longed for
came and asked to be rocked.
After my plucked out eyes had withered, and new ones grown something my former eyes had wept for came asking to be pitied.