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Friday, June 18, 2010

Poetry Friday--"The Gypsy's Window"


According to a brief biography on the Poets.org site, Denise Levertov made up her mind to become an poet at the age of 5! By 12, she was sending her poems to T.S. Eliot and receiving advice on her work. (A more detailed bio can be found on the Poetry Foundation site.)

Today, I'd like to share her "The Gypsy's Window" with you:
It seems a stage
backed by imaginations of velvet,
cotton, satin, loops and stripes--

A lovely unconcern
scattered the trivial plates, the rosaries
and centered
a narrownecked dark vase,
unopened yellow and pink
paper roses, a luxury of open red
paper roses--

Watching the trucks go by, from stiff chairs
behind the window show, an old
bandanna'd brutal dignified
woman, a young beautiful woman
her mouth a huge contemptuous rose--

The courage
of natural rhetoric tosses to dusty
Hudson St. the chance of poetry, a chance
poetry gives passion to the roses,
the roses the the gypsy's window in a blue
vase, look real, as unreal
as real roses.
(You can find this poem in City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology [808.81 CIT].)

My favorite line is the chance of poetry, a chance/poetry gives passion to the roses. I like the touch of mystery. And, the feeling of latent malice. Levertov has given us a scene that is drawn so well and with an economy of words that is admirable. I'll have to look for more by Levertov!

This week's Poetry Friday Round-Up is taking place at Two Writing Teachers.

Photo by albertob

1 comment:

  1. Wow! She knew her true self at FIVE!!! I'm in awe...

    ReplyDelete