Politics for the People Book Club member Jeff Aron share a poem by Denise Levertov with us today:
There are so many wonderful poems to share with friends. I think the book club might respond to the sensibility of this one. Denise Levertov was one of the poets I read as I “came of age” in the the 60’s. One of the ongoing struggles for artists is how to (or even whether to) create and remain relevant in a world in which there is poverty, racism, war and all manner of oppression. It is an on-going question which my dearest friends and comrades have been answering with varying degrees of success for many years. I love and admire them all. —-Jeff Aron
A voice from the dark called out,
“The poets must give us
imagination of peace, to oust the intense, familiar
imagination of disaster. Peace, not only
the absence of war.”
But peace, like a poem,
is not there ahead of itself,
can’t be imagined before it is made,
can’t be known except
in the words of its making,
grammar of justice,
syntax of mutual aid.
A feeling towards it,
dimly sensing a rhythm, is all we have
until we begin to utter its metaphors,
learning them as we speak.
A line of peace might appear
if we restructured the sentence our lives are making,
revoked its reaffirmation of profit and power,
questioned our needs, allowed
long pauses. . . .
on that different fulcrum; peace, a presence,
an energy field more intense than war,
might pulse then,
stanza by stanza into the world,
each act of living
one of its words, each word
a vibration of light—facets
of the forming crystal.
Our next poem was selected by Jessica Marta, who shared,
“Carolyn Forché describes her poetry as “Witnessing.” As compassionate people we can “bear witness” to attrocities of the world on a personal level. We can “bear witness,” rather than just watch it on TV and social media. I chose this poem because of its dark and hopeless imagery and sense of hope in a seemingly hopeless world.”
We will conclude our celebration of National Poetry Month on Monday. Next up, the historical novel,
The Secrets of Mary Bowser.
Hope you will pick up your copy of the book today.
We will be talking with author Lois Leveen
Sunday, June 3rd at 7 pm EST.