Saturday, May 24, 2014

Denise Levertov: "About Marriage"
















Don’t lock me in wedlock, I want
marriage, an
encounter—
 
I told you about the
green light of
May
 
        (a veil of quiet befallen
        the downtown park,
        late
 
        Saturday after
        noon, long
        shadows and cool
 
        air, scent of
        new grass,
        fresh leaves,
 
        blossom on the threshold of
        abundance—
 
        and the birds I met there,
        birds of passage breaking their journey,
        three birds each of a different species:
 
        the azalea-breasted with round poll, dark,
        the brindled, merry, mousegliding one,
        and the smallest, golden as gorse and wearing
        a black Venetian mask
 
        and with them the three douce hen-birds
        feathered in tender, lively brown—
 
        I stood
        a half-hour under the enchantment,
        no-one passed near,
        the birds saw me and
 
        let me be
        near them.)
 
It’s not
irrelevant:
I would be
met
 
and meet you
so,
in a green
 
airy space, not 
locked in.



"About Marriage" by Denise Levertov, from Selected Poems. © New Directions, 2003.

Image credit: "Green," by unknown artist.



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