Ode to Friday

levertov-1957-by-jonathan-williams
To lie back under the tallest
oldest trees. How far the stems
rise, rise
               before ribs of shelter
                                           open!

 

To live in the mercy of God. The complete
sentence too adequate, has no give.
Awe, not comfort. Stone, elbows of
stony wood beneath lenient
moss bed.

 

And awe suddenly
passing beyond itself. Becomes
a form of comfort.
                      Becomes the steady
air you glide on, arms
stretched like the wings of flying foxes.
To hear the multiple silence
of trees, the rainy
forest depths of their listening.

 

To float, upheld,
                as salt water
                would hold you,
                                        once you dared.

 

                  *
To live in the mercy of God.

 

To feel vibrate the enraptured
waterfall flinging itself
unabating down and down
                              to clenched fists of rock.
Swiftness of plunge,
hour after year after century,
                                                   O or Ah
uninterrupted, voice
many-stranded.
                              To breathe
spray. The smoke of it.
                              Arcs
of steelwhite foam, glissades
of fugitive jade barely perceptible. Such passion—
rage or joy?
                              Thus, not mild, not temperate,
God’s love for the world. Vast
flood of mercy
                      flung on resistance.

 

~ To Live in the Mercy of God, Denise Levertov (British/American, 1923-1997)
*
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8 thoughts on “Ode to Friday

  1. Such a conceptual and philosophical and intimately personal poem all at once. Just beautiful. What a great way (6:24 AM) to start the day. Love that ‘ribs of shelter’ and then the poem begins a commentary on its own inspiration. Very interestingly done. What a grasp of language. Thanks!

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