Oct 26 deep human places — youth and aging

Wednesday October 26
A New Flower  “. . . I . . .  found myself
with a new flower . . . ”

Strong poems find language to bring readers close to some deep, human, inner experience.   Today’s post,  Denise Levertov’s “A New Flower,” reminds me of Richard Wilbur’s 1921 “The Writer”  (posted  October 10, 2016 — https://sites.udmercy.edu/poetry/?s=the+writer).  Wilbur writes of a young woman writing in her room, pausing to consider a next step in the process, risking youth with its brave, creative, uncertainties (“young as she is, the stuff of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy”).  Levertov brings the reader deep into a moment of sheer beauty in the autumn of the poet’s life.

To this reader, both poets lead me into wonder and stillness.  You too, perhaps.   Best to read this one softly, out loud but almost in a whisper.  Pauses help too, of course.

Have a blest day,


Most of the sunflower’s bright petals
had fallen, so I stripped the few
poised to go, and found myself
with a new flower: the center,
that round cushion of dark-roast
coffee brown, tipped with uncountable
minute florets of gold, more noticeable
now that the clear, shiny yellow was gone,
and around it a ring of green, the petals
from behind the petals, there all the time,
each having the form of a sacred flame
or bo-tree leaf, a playful, jubilant form
(taken for granted in Paisley patterns)
and the light coming through them, so that
where, in double or triple rank, like a bevy
of Renaissance angels, they overlapped,
there was shadow, a darker shade
of the same spring green – a new flower
on this fall day, revealed within
the autumn of its own brief bloom

Denise Levertov


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