“what I heard was my whole self | saying and singing what it knew: I can.” ~ Denise Levertov, from “Variation on a Theme by Rilke”

"Islands Allagash (1990)by Neil Welliver

“Islands Allagash (1990)
by Neil Welliver

                   

Two for Tuesday: Denise Levertov

The Well

At sixteen I believed the moonlight
could change me if it would.
I moved my head
on the pillow, even moved my bed
as the moon slowly
crossed the open lattice.

I wanted beauty, a dangerous
gleam of steel, my body thinner,
my pale face paler.
I moonbathed
diligently, as others sunbathe.
But the moon’s unsmiling stare
kept me awake. Mornings,
I was flushed and cross.

It was on dark nights of deep sleep
that I dreamed the most, sunk in the well,
and woke rested, and if not beautiful,
filled with some other power.

                  
Nicholas Roerich Eclipse 1939

“Eclipse” (1939)
by Nicholas Roerich

                   

Wanting The Moon

Not the moon. A flower
on the other side of the water.

The water sweeps past in flood,
dragging a whole tree by the hair,

a barn, a bridge. The flower
sings on the far bank.

Not a flower, a bird calling
hidden among the darkest trees, music

over the water, making a silence
out of the brown folds of the river’s cloak.

The moon. No, a young man walking
under the trees. There are lanterns

among the leaves.
Tender, wise, merry,

his face is awake with its own light,
I see it across the water as if close up.

A jester. The music rings from his bells,
gravely, a tune of sorrow,

I dance to it on my riverbank.

                   

Music by Mooncake, “Cast the Route”

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4 thoughts on ““what I heard was my whole self | saying and singing what it knew: I can.” ~ Denise Levertov, from “Variation on a Theme by Rilke”

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