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Revolution & Poetry

November 27, 2016

The poetry of Denise Levertov inevitably, for me, gets life right. Frustrated with a number of situations I cannot solve, I happened upon her poem “Let Us Sing Unto the Lord a New Song.” My activist impulses to “fix” were interrupted. The greater neglect in our world is not activist revolution, but poetry; yet when they mesh, “the singing begins.” Here’s an excerpt:



Heart’s fire
breaks the chest almost,

and if its beat
life itself shall cease.

Heart’s river,
living water,

and if that pulse
grow faint
fever shall parch the soul, breath
choke upon ashes.

But when their rhythms
then though the pain of living
never lets up

The singing begins.


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