Thursday, August 03, 2006

Words I Love - Beginners

From too much love of living,
Hope and desire set free,
Even the weariest river
Winds somewhere to the sea -

But we have only begun
To love the earth.

We have only begun
To imagine the fullness of life.

How could we tire of hope?
- so much is in bud.

How can desire fail?
- we have only begun

to imagine justice and mercy,
only begun to envision

how it might be
to live as siblings with beast and flower,
not as oppressors.

Surely our river
cannot already be hastening
into the sea of nonbeing?

Surely it cannot
drag, in the silt,
all that is innocent?

Not yet, not yet-
there is too much broken
that must be mended,

too much hurt we have done to each other
that cannot yet be forgiven.

We have only begun to know
the power that is in us if we would join
our solitudes in the communion of struggle.

So much is unfolding that must
complete its gesture,

so much is in bud.

Denise Levertov (from Candles in Babylon)

There is an original Thursday poem here.


Tabor said...

This poem can take one down so many roads of thought. I was thinking of the call of Armegaddon that was in the news and then the global warming we face and even my aging self against my new grandson. Deep thinking here.

Pam in Tucson said...

This is absolutely right on for this time. I forced myself to listen to the news tonight. Then I came back a re-read this poem. Thank you!

Fran said...

I haven't read any Denise Levertov for a long time, but I do have a few of her books in my collection. This is so timely and I'm sure it was written a long time ago. I liked your poem very much, too--and I do know who Jethro Tull is.

Val said...

Wonderful words, and a captivating image to go with them. Thank you.