Denise Levertov

(24 October 1923 – 20 December 1997 / Ilford, Essex)

Quotations

  • ''putting his hope in certain death, lowering
    his head again to the grass.''
    Denise Levertov (b. 1923), Anglo-U.S. poet. "Ce bruit de la mer . . ....."
    17 person liked.
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  • ''Let the space under the first storey be dark, let the water
    lap the stone posts, and vivid green slime glimmer
    upon them; let a boat be kept there.''
    Denise Levertov (b. 1923), Anglo-U.S. poet. "Psalm Concerning the Castle."
  • ''image
    of water, a brightness
    not gold, not silver,
    rippling
    as if with laughter.''
    Denise Levertov (b. 1923), Anglo-U.S. poet. "The Ripple."
  • ''That sound, everywhere about us, of the sea—
    the tree among its tresses has always heard it,
    and the horse dips his black body in the sound
    stretching his neck as if towards drinking water ...''
    Denise Levertov (b. 1923), Anglo-U.S. poet. "Ce bruit de la mer . . ....."
  • ''Let me be at the place of the castle.
    Let the castle be within me.''
    Denise Levertov (b. 1923), Anglo-U.S. poet. "Psalm Concerning the Castle."
  • ''(1) Know the pinetrees. Know the orange dryness of sickness and death in needle and cone. Know them too in green health, those among whom your life is laid.''
    Denise Levertov (b. 1923), Anglo-U.S. poet. "The Runes."
  • ''I have seen
    not behind but within, within the
    dull grief, blown grit, hideous
    concrete façades, another grief, a gleam
    as of dew, an abode of mercy....''
    Denise Levertov (b. 1923), Anglo-U.S. poet. "City Psalm."
  • ''As if that hand
    squeezing crow's blood
    against a white sky
    beside an idiot's laughing face
    were real.''
    Denise Levertov (b. 1923), Anglo-U.S. poet. "Puñal."
  • ''(3) In city, in suburb, in forest, no way to stretch out the arms so if you would grow, go straight up or deep down.''
    Denise Levertov (b. 1923), Anglo-U.S. poet. "The Runes."
  • ''not that horror was not, not that the killings did not continue,
    not that I thought there was to be no more despair,
    but that as if transparent all disclosed
    an otherness that was blessèd, that was bliss.
    I saw Paradise in the dust of the street.''
    Denise Levertov (b. 1923), Anglo-U.S. poet. "City Psalm."

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The Elves

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

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