World Poetry Day: Celebration

denise-levertov

In honor of World Poetry Day,
this poem from Denise Levertov (1923-1997):

Celebration

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

the street

of a coal-dusty village, wholly at odds

with the claims of reasonable gloom.

ferns lady


  • “Celebration” from The Great Unknowing: Last Poems ©1999 by the Denise Levertov Property Trust (New Directions Publishing) — www.poemhunter.com/…

About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 45 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband and a bewildered Border Collie.
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2 Responses to World Poetry Day: Celebration

  1. Brilliant, this day – a young virtuoso of a day.
    Morning shadow cut by sharpest scissors,

    What clear vivid imagery. Love it. reading that, I flashed on the great George Harrison song, Here Comes The Sun..

    The last line:

    ….a coal-dusty village, wholly at odds
    with the claims of reasonable gloom.

    …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.

  2. wordcloud9 says:

    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.

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