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Beginners

Today’s Easter Poem from Education for Justice is by Denise Levertov

So much is in the (poppy) bud!

So much is in the (poppy) bud!

Beginners
(Dedicated to the memory of Karen
Silkwood and Eliot Gralla)

“From too much love of living,
Hope and desire set free,
Even the weariest river
Winds somewhere to the sea—“

But we have only begun
To love the earth.

We have only begun
To imagine the fullness of life.

How could we tire of hope?
—so much is in bud.

How can desire fail?
—we have only begun

to imagine justice and mercy,
only begun to envision

how it might be
to live as siblings with beast and flower,
not as oppressors.

Surely our river
cannot already be hastening
into the sea of nonbeing?

Surely it cannot
drag, in the silt,
all that is innocent?

Not yet, not yet—
there is too much broken
that must be mended,

too much hurt we have done to each other
that cannot yet be forgiven.

We have only begun to know
the power that is in us if we would join
our solitudes in the communion of struggle.

So much is unfolding that must
complete its gesture,

so much is in bud.

Source: Selected Poems Denise Levertov, by
Denise Levertov, New York: New Directions,
2003. p. 137

Posted by opreach on April 8, 2013
2 Comments Post a comment
  1. 04/11/2013

    “We have only begun to know
    the power that is in us if we would join
    our solitudes in the communion of struggle.”

    nice words – the line that speaks the loudest to me from the poem above!! Slowly I see that true solitude is a communion – as I think Thomas Mertton says when he said something like – we do not go into the desert to escape from people but to learn how to find them.and a way to find a way to do them the most good. I am not sure if that is what this line in the poem means but it is what comes to mind – thanks for the words on which tor eflect!!

    Reply
  2. 04/11/2013

    Thanks for your comment, Keith. While I can see the potential in a poppy bud, I sometimes have difficulty in seeing my own. “We have only begun. . . Peace and all good, Pat

    Reply

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