Tag Archives: Denise Levertov

Lent: The Air Heavy and Thick

Spiritual Sunday I share today a good Lenten poem by Denise Levertov where the poet finds herself in a funk, albeit not a dramatic funk. She’s experiencing neither a “dark night of the soul” nor a scorching wasteland desert, those extreme moments of crisis that have pushed people to revelation. (Today’s Gospel reading is Jesus’s […]

Posted in Eliot (T. S.), Levertov (Denise), Oliver (Mary), Thompson (Francis) | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What I Heard Was My Whole Self

Spiritual Sunday Today’s Gospel reading concerns Jesus’s awakening as he was being baptized by John. That moment was his own epiphany, when the membrane between the sacred and the profane was penetrated and he realized that God dwells within us (Luke 3:21-22): Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been […]

Posted in Cohen (Leonard), Levertov (Denise), Rilke (Rainer Maria) | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Share Hope and Watch It Grow

New Year’s Day Former colleague Dana Greene alerted me to this luminescent New Year’s poem by Denise Levertov. In it, the poet compares hope to a small crystal and a cluster of irises. When Emily Dickinson describes hope as “the thing with feathers that perches in the soul,” she focuses on the individual. Hope comes […]

Posted in Levertov (Denise) | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

Spirituality in Nature

John Gatta’s “Spirit of Place in American Literary Culture” explains why we find certain places, in nature and in civilization, to be infused with spirit.

Posted in Chaucer (Geoffrey), Coleridge (Samuel Taylor), Levertov (Denise), Virgil | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Vast Unfolding Design Lit by a Risen Sun

Denise Levertov’s magnificent poem about Doubting Thomas graphically describes the doubts, making the final revelation all the more powerful.

Posted in Levertov (Denise) | Also tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Filled with Some Other Power

Denise Levertov’s beautiful poem “The Well” works as a commentary on John’s gospel account of the Samaritan woman at the well.

Posted in Levertov (Denise) | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

A Pause in Time and the Soul’s Awareness

John Thorkild Ellison has two Epiphany poems in which the spirit enters when the poet has all but given up hope.

Posted in Ellison (John Thorkild) | Also tagged , | Leave a comment

How Can I Focus My Flickering Mind?

If you have ever found your mind wandering as you knelt to pray, Denise Levertov knows how you feel.

Posted in Levertov (Denise) | Also tagged , | Leave a comment

Pulled into the Ring of the Dance

In her Pentecostal poem “Caedmon,” Denise Levertov describes the moment when the early British poet was filled with the Holy Spirit and learned the art of song.

Posted in Levertov (Denise) | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

  • AVAILABLE NOW!

  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

    Please feel free to e-mail me [rrbates (at) smcm (dot) edu]. I would be honored to hear your thoughts and questions about literature.

  • Sign up for weekly newsletter

    Your email will not be shared or sold.
    * = required field

    powered by MailChimp!