Saturday, May 24, 2014

Denise Levertov: "About Marriage"

Don’t lock me in wedlock, I want
marriage, an
I told you about the
green light of
        (a veil of quiet befallen
        the downtown park,
        Saturday after
        noon, long
        shadows and cool
        air, scent of
        new grass,
        fresh leaves,
        blossom on the threshold of
        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
I would be
and meet you
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.


  1. Good poetry is one fine surprise after another, ain't it? The first line's pretty straight-forward, but then comes "the green light of May." Go go go says the green light. Wowzer! And the little gold-suited guy with the Venetian mask. Were you ready for him? Followed by the three guys' dun-suited wives, who seem lively and contented enough. Did you expect that? I sure didn't.

  2. I would say that this poem is very "mid" as it does the achieve the level of likeliness that a "good" poem can achieve, furthermore the back round of this website is very "unpleasant to look at" straight up eye caner, I am ending with this, fix yo shit this poem is ass.


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