a wandering woman writes

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Poetry Thursday: Looking, Walking, Being

Happy Poetry Thursday!

Today I've decided to post another poem by Denise Levertov. I love reading this poem aloud; I love reciting it to myself while I wander strange places; I love becoming, sometimes, a pair of eyes walking.


Looking, Walking, Being

"The World is not something to
look at, it is something to be in."
Mark Rudman

I look and look.
Looking's a way of being: one becomes,
sometimes, a pair of eyes walking.
Walking wherever looking takes one.

The eyes
dig and burrow into the world.
They touch
fanfare, howl, madrigal, clamor.
World and the past of it,
not only
visible present, solid and shadow
that looks at one looking.

And language? Rhythms
of echo and interruption?
a way of breathing.

breathing to sustain
walking and looking,
through the world,
in it.

From Sands of the Well by Denise Levertov.
Copyright © 1996 by Denise Levertov



  • This is wonderful! I love the idea of eyes digging and burrowing into the world. Thank you for sharing this poem.

    By Blogger sheela, at 11:22 AM  

  • Love it ... a poem for a wandering woman, a good way to remember to 'look'.

    By Blogger woman wandering, at 12:10 PM  

  • I love Levertov!

    By Blogger jenclair, at 1:54 PM  

  • oh wow: this poem has changed my life. i love it. thank you. Levertov, where have you been all my life!!???!

    By Blogger kaleidoscope, at 2:54 PM  

  • Yes, I really like this poem; the significance of looking and really seeing what's around you. Lovely!

    By Blogger paris parfait, at 5:26 PM  

  • Good, so we all love Levertov. I was just introduced to her by a poet, a woman who nails me with every recommendation, a few weeks ago, kaleidoscope. So here I sit, finding her on the web and what friends send me til the 2 Levertovs I ordered make it to Spain. One is prose, by the way, The Poet in the World, a collection of essays about life as a poet that I've been told describes the process, the arrival of the poem to the poet as beautifully as anyone ever has...
    Did you read Living, from last Thursday?

    Yes, ww, a good wandering verse.

    Thanks for the comments! Off to see what you all have posted.

    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 9:05 PM  

  • Although I didn´t understand too much, it sounds musical.
    I apologise for my english poetry ignorance, and for my english ignorance too. But WW I try a bit, then I decided to continue reading the George Orwell´s farm. With a dictionary next to me.

    By Blogger Nomadita, at 10:18 PM  

  • It is musical, it is.

    But fear not, Nomadita! I read plenty of translated Neruda and Lorca and Machado and who knows who else every Thursday on the PT blogs. They aren't the same in English.(Nor do I have Fernando's father to recite them for me. :-))

    So it's Animal Farm you have? Cool.
    Messenger me if its easier than the dictionary; I'll probably be online..

    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 10:24 PM  

  • I like the connection to looking and being- so true

    Great poem

    By Blogger Colorsonmymind, at 7:13 PM  

  • Nice poem, glad I stopped by

    By Blogger Delaleuverses, at 9:03 PM  

  • Thanks for the comments, colors and delaleuverses.

    Levertov is amazing, isn't she?

    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 11:21 AM  

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