In honor of World Poetry Day,
this poem from Denise Levertov (1923-1997):
Brilliant, this day – a young virtuoso of a day.
Morning shadow cut by sharpest scissors,
deft hands. And every prodigy of green –
whether it’s ferns or lichens or needles
or impatient points of buds on spindly bushes –
greener than ever before. And the way the conifers
hold new cones to the light for the blessing,
a festive right, and sing the oceanic chant the wind
transcribes for them!
A day that shines in the cold
like a first-prize brass band swinging along
of a coal-dusty village, wholly at odds
with the claims of reasonable gloom.
- “Celebration” from The Great Unknowing: Last Poems ©1999 by the Denise Levertov Property Trust (New Directions Publishing) — www.poemhunter.com/…
What clear vivid imagery. Love it. reading that, I flashed on the great George Harrison song, Here Comes The Sun..
The last line:
…conjured up a conversation I had a couple of days ago with someone from Harlan County, Kentucky. That line is what the sadness of Harlan County is about.
Thanks Chuck –
The final lines also apply to the collery bands of Levertov’s native England. Their plight was very well portrayed in the movie “Brassed Off.”
This poem is all the more remarkable because it one of the very last ones written by Denise Levertov just before she died of cancer.