Thursday, July 19, 2007


It's not difficult.
Anyway, it's necessary/

Wait till morning, and you'll forget.
And who knows if morning will come.

Fumble for the light, and you'll be
stark awake, but the vision
will be fading, slipping
out of reach.

You must have paper at hand,
a felt-tip pen--ballpoints don't always flow,
pencil points tend to break. There's nothing
shameful in that much prudence: those are your tools.

Never mind about crossing your t's, dotting your i's--
but take care not to cover
one word with the next. Practice will reveal
how one hand instinctively comes to the aid of the other
to keep each line
clear of the next.

Keep writing in the dark:
a record of the night, or
words that pulled you from the depth of unknowing,
words that flew through your mind, strange birds
crying their urgency with human voices,

or opened
as flowers of a tree that blooms
only once in a lifetime:

words that may have the power
to make the sun rise again.

--Denise Levertov


gautami tripathy said...

Your link at Pt does not work.

Great poem you shared. Sometimes it happens this way with me.

wendy said...

Sometimes I wonder if dreams keep you going...or pull you farther away.....

I would have sharpie, i fear..on my comforter, my end table..and my eyes I i rub them when I'm sleepy!!

Hey..maybe I wouldn't need eyeliner anymore...hum....

Brian said...

Writing in the dark. That's not something I have tried. My dreams, sometimes our dreams, are best left as wisps and not described.

pepektheassassin said...

I've tried. It's no piece of cake.

...deb said...

I'm too new to this to have rituals. Hearing about others' insights and tics and toyings is wonderful, and fun.

And I am just sure your post on Rob's blog was amazingly insightful and lucid!

Anonymous said...

I've been training myself to remember my sleepy poem thoughts so I can record them when I get up. It's working so far.

Crafty Green Poet said...

we're all writing in the dark to some extent most of the time. I've even tried it in the literal sense once or twice.

Catherine said...

Wonderful poem. I haven't tried writing in the dark, I do keep pen and paper by the bed but I turn the light on first. Maybe I should practice doing it the way Denise suggests

z-silverlight said...

Put a night light in the bedroom. You know, those little ones that plug straight into the wall outlet.
I usually get poems just before I go to sleep, and just before I am fully awake.
Even then, like Coleridge, I lose half of them.

paris parfait said...

Thanks for sharing this lovely, wise poem. I have a notepad at my bedside, but am usually not alert enough to write down my dreams/thoughts upon awaking. But some of my best ideas/actions have been inspired by dreams.