I like to find   
what's not found   
at once, but lies

within something of another nature,   
in repose, distinct.   
Gull feathers of glass, hidden

in white pulp: the bones of squid   
which I pull out and lay
blade by blade on the draining board—

       tapered as if for swiftness, to pierce   
       the heart, but fragile, substance
       belying design.               Or a fruit, mamey,

cased in rough brown peel, the flesh   
rose-amber, and the seed:
the seed a stone of wood, carved and

polished, walnut-colored, formed   
like a brazilnut, but large,
large enough to fill
the hungry palm of a hand.

I like the juicy stem of grass that grows
within the coarser leaf folded round,
and the butteryellow glow
in the narrow flute from which the morning-glory   
opens blue and cool on a hot morning.

  • Denise Levertov, “Pleasures” from Collected Earlier Poems 1940-1960. Copyright © 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1979 by Denise Levertov. Reprinted with the permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation, www.wwnorton.com/nd/welcome.htm.

  • Source: Selected Poems (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 2002)

Poet Bio

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"I was surprised that I was able to select poems that are so out of my usual spoken word preference. The Poetry Out Loud website has hundreds of poems that I have never seen before, and the fact that I found 3 and was able to make it so far with them is amazing to me. I guess I learned that stepping outside of the box is okay!"
Annabelle Emuze
2015 IL POL Champion