* 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.”

*arrivearrivearrive*
*arrivearrivearrive*

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!

Jose

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2 thoughts on “* arriving with Denise Levertov

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