Select Poetry from Denise Levertov

Select poetry from Denise Levertov:
Perhaps not a poem but all I can say and I cannot be silent.

As a devout Christian my father took delight and pride in being (like Christ and the Apostles) a Jew.
It was
Hasidic lore, his heritage,
He drew on to know
The Holy Spirit as Shekinah.
My Gentile mother, Welsh through and through, and like my father sustained by deep faith, cherished all her life the words
Of Israel Zangwill, who told her you have a Jewish soul.
I their Daughter (flesh their flesh, bone of their bone)
Writing in this age of Terror, a libretto about El Salvador, the suffering, the martyrs,

Look from my page to watch the apportioned news-those foul dollops of History each thrusts at us, pushing them into our gullets-

And see that,
In Lebanon
So-called Jews have permitted
So-called Christians
To wreak pogrom (thunder of devastation)
On helpless folk (of tribe anciently kin to their own, and now concentrated in Camps……)
My father-my mother
I have longed for you.
Now I see
It is well you are dead,
Dead and gone from Time,
Gone from this time whose weight
Of shame your bones, weary already
From your own days and years of tragic History,
Could surely not have borne.


The spirit walked upon the face of the waters walks the meadow of long grass;
Green shines to silver where the spirit passes.
Wind from the compass points, sun at meridian,
These are forms the spirit enters,
Breath, Ruach, light that is witness and by which we witness.
The grasses numberless, bowing and rising, silently cry hosanna as the spirit moves them and moves burnishing
Over and again upon mountain pastures a day of spring, a Needles’s eye
Space and time are passing through like a swath of silk.

1 Comment

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One response to “Select Poetry from Denise Levertov

  1. Thanks for sharing these poems from Paul Levertoff’s daughter. Thanks to Judah H as well for pointing me toward your new blog…keep the posts coming!

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