Guilt (After Denise Levertov’s “Adam’s Complaint”)

With November nearly over, it’s time for my final tribute to the poetry of Denise Levertov. This one is inspired by her simple but stark masterpiece, “Adam’s Complaint“, one of Levertov’s many creative entries into the inner workings of Biblical narratives. My poem looks at the same story from a slightly different angle.

Guilt (After “Adam’s Complaint”)

The vilest ruse
lay in the lie that knowledge
always leads to wisdom:

as though all it took
was to eat and know and then
be somehow as gods.

Instead, we found
our naked selves
hiding in broad daylight,

no clothing but wisdom which,
always vowing, always taking,
ate us as we ate,

learning through the futile past
that fruit, though pleasing to the eye,
is not always food.

3 thoughts on “Guilt (After Denise Levertov’s “Adam’s Complaint”)

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