Overland to the Islands – Denise Levertov
Let’s go — much as that dog goes,
intently haphazard. The
Mexican light on a day that
“smells like autumn in Connecticut”
makes iris ripples on his
black gleaming fur — and that too
is as one would desire — a radiance
consorting with the dance.
Under his feet
rock and mud, his imagination, sniffing,
engaged in its perceptions — dancing
edgeways, there’s nothing
the dog disdains on his way,
keeps moving, changing
pace and approach but
not direction — “every step an arrival.”
Our professor snuck in this poem at the tail end of Levertov’s essay “Some Notes on Organic Form” – a good read for you poets if you have the time.
Much of what moves me here in this particular poem – the juxtaposition of senses and sensibility, how the poem insists on perception after perception, leads from word to word in an engaging manner – is discussed in that essay in terms of meditation and breath.
I have been much involved in another kind of meditation and breath, one that centers me after teaching. Here’s a quote that has followed me into my inner space the past two days:
All the world is a dream, not because it isn’t there, but because we each attach different meanings to it.
— Ming-Dao Deng, 365 Tao
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