* arriving with Denise Levertov

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,
nevertheless he
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

Happy attaching!


2 responses to “* arriving with Denise Levertov”

    1. I’m glad you think so! Thanks for reading!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: