Thursday, January 10, 2008


Today commenced a discussion course on the subject of "Story" in which I participate. Not all discussion groups are a success. But every now and then, there happens a small miracle and the group assembled seems to hold great promise for a truly passionate engagement. This group seems to hold the promise for genuine learning. We'll be reading Northrop Fry and a list of plays and novels as we go on.

Today we just tasted a few excerpts from this and that. One of these titbits was this poem, by Denise Levertov, a poet I heard about but never explored before.

Needless to say, I found the poem resonant, or else I wouldn't mention it.

Complaint and rejoinder/ Denise Levertov

There's a kind of despair, when your friends
are scattered across the world; you see
how therefore never is there a way
each can envision truly
the others of whom you speak.
Oceans divide your life,
you want to place all of it--people,
places, their tones, atmospheres,
everything shared uniquely with each--into
a single bowl, like petals, like sand
in a pail. No one can ever hear or tell
the whole story.

(And do you really think
this would not be so if you lived
all of your life on an island,
in a village too small to contain
a single stranger?)


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