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

What People are Saying

"I do Poetry Out Loud because the everyday me is very shy and easily stumbles over words, mangling meaning and botching simple conversations. Yet, when I recite poetry it is an opportunity for me to become someone else––an embodiment of the poem. Slowly, step by step, I think Poetry Out Loud is helping me to become a braver, more confident person, even if I still tremble when I get on stage."
Rose Horowitz
2015 ME POL Champion