Resolution: No Clutter

Too fidgety the mind’s compass (R.S. Thomas, “Adam Tempted”) I pile books on books and thought on thought. I pile obligation onto guilt, and duty  onto resignation. This is panic in my breath and limbs tingling with the pace of things. There is no end, the wise teacher said, to all flesh-weariness of thought. IContinue reading “Resolution: No Clutter”

12 Poets: Goodbye and Hello

Well, on this final day of November it’s time to say goodbye to Denise Levertov, the lovely Anglo-American poet that we have been exploring this month. In lieu of an essay on her work, here is a link to the last interview she gave which I think gives a better insight into her work thanContinue reading “12 Poets: Goodbye and Hello”

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

Even So, Even So (After Denise Levertov’s “Suspended”)

When I first read Denise Levertov’s “Suspended”, it amazed me with the perfect way it blended the starkness of life with the delicate beauty of grace. You can read her poem here, in a wonderful post from CPX of their favourite religious poems, and here is my own response to Levertov. Even So, Even SoContinue reading “Even So, Even So (After Denise Levertov’s “Suspended”)”

Being (After Denise Levertov’s “Flickering Mind”)

Well, November is running away from us and so far I’ve only managed one poem for my 12 Poets Project this month. So it’s time for another one, this one inspired by Denise Levertov’s wondering “Flickering Mind”, one of the best poetic expressions I have read of the human mind’s struggle with religious devotion. YouContinue reading “Being (After Denise Levertov’s “Flickering Mind”)”

Voices in the Garden (After Denise Levertov’s “On a Theme by Thomas Merton”)

“Who told you that you were naked?”               His voice Cuts through the trees and fig-leaves. Naked, you stand, glory shattered, Illusion broken, image disconnected, Heart unsure now how to beat. “Did you eat the fruit from the tree?”               His voice Asks yet does not need to be told: Your lips stink to heavenContinue reading “Voices in the Garden (After Denise Levertov’s “On a Theme by Thomas Merton”)”

12 Poets #8: Denise Levertov

Well, the calendar year is coming to an end, and my year of writing about Christian poets is also well under way. We’re up to our eighth poet now, and this month we are going to be looking at American poet Denise Levertov, a Catholic poet and activist whose meditations on faith have been aContinue reading “12 Poets #8: Denise Levertov”