Saturday, 7 June 2014

Denise Levertov (24/10/23 -20/12/97) - Writing in the Dark

It's not difficult
Anway it's necessary.
Wait till morning, and you'll forget.
And who knows if morning will come.

Fumble for the light, and you'll be
stark awake, but the vision
will be fading, slipping
out of reach.

You must have paper at hand,
a felt-tip pen - ballpoints don't always flow,
pencil points tend to break. There's nothing
shameful in that much prudence: those are your tools.

Never mind about crossing your t's, dotting your i's -
but take care not to cover
one word with the next. Practice will reveal
how one hand instinctively comes to the aid of the other
to keep each line
clear of the next.

Keep writing in the dark:
a record of the night, or
words that pulled you from depths of unknowing,
worrds that flew through your mind, strange birds
crying their urgency with human voices.

or opened
as flowers of a tree that blooms
only once in a lifetime:

words that may have the power
to make the sun rise again.

Denise Levertov was born in Illford, Essex, England. Her father, raised a Hassidic Jew, had converted to Christianity while attending University in Germany. Her mother was Welsh, and read aloud such authors as Charles Dickens, Joseph Corad and Leo Tolstoy. Denise Levertov was educated completely at home and she claimed to have decided write at the age of five.She was to become a committed protestor too, an anti-war activist, feminist and anarchist fellow travellor, following her own passionate  impulses. After settling in America in 1948, she was also to become known as one of America's foremost contemporary poets.

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