February 2016 Archives

Poetry - Denise Levertov - The Secret

This poem was read at a recent MVUC service. I liked it a lot.

The Secret
by Denise Levertov
(via The Poetry Foundation)

Two girls discover
the secret of life
in a sudden line of

I who don't know the
secret wrote
the line. They
told me

(through a third person)
they had found it
but not what it was
not even

what line it was. No doubt
by now, more than a week
later, they have forgotten
the secret,

the line, the name of
the poem. I love them
for finding what
I can't find,

and for loving me
for the line I wrote,
and for forgetting it
so that

a thousand times, till death
finds them, they may
discover it again, in other

in other
happenings. And for
wanting to know it,

assuming there is
such a secret, yes,
for that
most of all.

Here is a recording of the author reading it.

Levertov died in 1997. Here's a page from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with extensive material on her career, including a page of several more of her poems.

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