24 January 2009

Denise Levertov

[from Denise Levertov's The Sorrow Dance, New Directions, 1967]

As It Happens

Like dogs in Mexico,
furless, sore, misshapen,

arrives from laborious nowhere
Agony. And proves

to have eyes of kindness,
a pitiful tail; wants

love. Give it some, in form of
dry tortilla, it

grabs and runs off
three-leggéd, scared,

but tarries nearby and will
return. A friend.

To Speak

To speak of sorrow
works upon it
                    moves it from its
crouched place barring
the way to and from the soul's hall --

out in the light it
shows clear, whether
shrunken or known as
a giant wrath --
at least, where before

its great shadow joined
the walls and roof and seemed
to uphold the hall like a beam.

The Sorrow Dance

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