Elizabeth E George

Poet of the Week: Denise Levertov

In art, Blog, Poetry, Poets, Uncategorized, Writing 2012 on May 10, 2013 at 12:59 am

The Secret

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

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
lines

in other
happenings.  And for
wanting to know it,
for

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

~ poem by Denise Levertov

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Poet of the Week: Adrienne Rich

In Nature, Poetry, Poets, Uncategorized, Writing 2012 on March 11, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Diving  into the Wreck

First having read the book of myths,
and loaded the camera,
and checked the edge of the knife-blade,
I put on
the body-armor of black rubber
the absurd flippers
the grave and awkward mask.
I am having to do this
not like Cousteau with his
assiduous team
aboard the sun-flooded schooner
but here alone.

There is a ladder.
The ladder is always there
hanging innocently
close to the side of the schooner.
We know what it is for,
we who have used it.
Otherwise
it’s a piece of maritime floss
some sundry equipment.

I go down.
Rung after rung and still
the oxygen immerses me
the blue light
the clear atoms
of our human air.
I go down.
My flippers cripple me,
I crawl like an insect down the ladder
and there is no one
to tell me when the ocean
will begin.

First the air is blue and then
it is bluer and the green and then
black I am blacking out and yet
my mask is powerful
it pumps my blood with power
the sea is another story
the sea is not a question of power
I have to learn alone
to turn my body without force
in the deep element.

And now: it is easy to forget
what I came for
among so many who have always
lived here
swaying their crenellated fans
between the reefs
and besides
you breathe differently down here.

I came to explore the wreck .
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
and the treasures that prevail.
I stroke the beam of my lamp
slowly along the flank
of something more permanent
than fish or weed.

the thing I came for:
the wreck and not the story of the wreck
the thing itself and not the myth
the drowned face always staring
toward the sun
the evidence of damage
worn by salt and sway into this threadbare beauty
the ribs of the disaster
curving their assertion
among the tentative haunters.

This is the place.
And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair
streams black, the merman in his armored body
We circle silently
about the wreck
we dive into the hold.
I am she: I am he

whose drowned face sleeps with open eyes
whose breast still bear the stress
whose silver, copper, vermeil cargo lies
obscurely inside barrels
half-wedged and left to rot
we are the half-destroyed instruments
that once held to a course
the water-eaten log
the fouled compass

We are, I am, you are
by cowardice or courage
the one who finds our way
back to this scene
carrying a knife, a camera
a book of myths
in which our names do not appear.

~poem by Adrienne Rich

I Will Get Out of This

In Blog, Nature, Poetry, Poets, Uncategorized, Writing 2012, Writing 2013 on February 21, 2013 at 1:14 pm

I will think: a wall
of China, of Berlin
and plant seeds of my eyes
on one side
and your absence of soul
on the other.
Then we will climb to the top
to find the knowledge
of the apple tree,
the mustard seed,
or the nothingness of them both.

And I will find China, Berlin,
some continent for me,
some crumb of dust
or shade of grey.

Along a steady stone,
you get there before me
while I line the edge
of rocks, say words
to the sky,
which you do not hear.

I let go
to reach the surface
that is the shore.

<>poem by Lisa Marie Ackerly