April 20 – I lost “The Freeing of the Dust”

Monday, April 20, “Prayer for Revolutionary Love”

A couple weeks back a close friend came for some prayer time in our house . . . stillness and presence.  On the second day we were talking and I had the intuition to loan her one of Denise Levertov’s great books of poetry, The Freeing of the Dust.  I looked all over my room’s book shelves and couldn’t find it. Must have forgotten to whom I’d loaned it.   Grrrr.  You can print a poem up off the web but somehow it’s not the same as loaning the book; which has carried grace for a good while in a sensual form of paper and print and alphabet.

So what does my friend do but venture out onto the web and find me a signed copy.  If the sensuality of print on paper matters, so does the ink from a pen held by the poet herself.  Today’s poem is one of my all-time favorites.  It has appeared on this list before.  Does today’s post celebrate the intimate power of “Prayer for Revolutionary Love” as enduring beauty,  or the web-care my friend took to bring the poet right here where I live and work and sleep?  Yes.

Best to read the poem out loud, with pauses.

Have a blest day, maybe tasting last night’s spring rain.

 

john sj

Today’s Post  –  The Freeing of the Dust  (1972)

Prayer for Revolutionary Love

That a woman not ask a man to leave meaningful work to follow her
That a man not ask a woman to leave meaningful work to follow him.

That no one try to put Eros in bondage
But that no one put a cudgel in the hands of Eros.

That our loyalty to one another and our loyalty to our work
not be set in false conflict.

That our love for each other give us love for each other’s work
That our love for each other’s work give us love for one another.

That our love for each other’s work give us love for one another.
That our love for each other give us love for each other’s work.

That our love for each other, if need be,
give way to absence.  And the unknown.

That we endure absence, if need be,
without losing our love for each other.
Without closing our doors to the unknown.

Denise Levertov

Denise Levertov
            1923 – 1997

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One Response to April 20 – I lost “The Freeing of the Dust”

  1. Pingback: May 15 – a signed copy of Denise Levertov’s Freeing of the Dust | Poetry Blog: "A Work Day in Hard Times"

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