Blue Oran

Ditto aww. First stanza is a great mediation on those names that stick so big in our poetry craw and yet are just the big masks of all of us who struggle to make words sing. And I too fall in love with writers, watching them dance with their tropes. And singing back to one’s community is such a generous way of refusing to stay under one’s own rock. Thanks. We all can use the encouragement.

Hate to take up the comment space, but this poem by Denise Levertov, who died 20 years ago, so anticipates what I’ve found blogging poetry in a community of like voices — often I feel this way when I read your work. Publication seems such a distant star now, but that doesn’t say our singing earth isn’t rich — b

WRITER AND READER

Denise Levertov

When a poem has come to me,
almost complete as it makes its way
into daylight, out through arm, hand, pen,
onto page; or needing
draft after draft, the increments
of change toward itself, what’s missing
brought to it, grafted
into it, trammels of excess
peeled away till it can breathe
and leave me–

then I feel awe at being
chosen for the task
again; and delight, and the strange and familiar
sense of destiny.

But when I read or hear
a perfect poem, brought into being
by someone else, someone perhaps
I’ve never heard of before — a poem
bringing me pristine visions, music
beyond what I though I could hear,
a stirring, a leaping
of new anguish, of new hope, a poem
trembling with its own
vital power –

then I’m caught up beyond
that isolate awe, that narrow delight
into what singers must feel in a great choir
each with humility and zest partaking
of harmonies they combine to make
waves and ripples of music’s ocean,
who hush to listen when the aria
arches above them in halcyon stillness.

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