The Secret

Two girls discover
the secret of life
in a sudden line of

I who don’t know the
secret wrote
the line. They
told me

(through a third person)
they had found it
but not what it was
not even

what line it was. No doubt
by now, more than a week
later, they have forgotten
the secret,

the line, the name of
the poem. I love them
for finding what
I can’t find,

and for loving me
for the line I wrote,
and for forgetting it
so that

a thousand times, till death
finds them, they may
discover it again, in other

in other
happenings. And for
wanting to know it,

assuming there is
such a secret, yes,
for that
most of all.

– Denise Levertov

A lovely poem, about young girls and an epiphany that, while transient, speaks of so much hope. That there can be epiphanies, that they may be forgotten but it does not matter, because it permits you to have the joy of finding them again, in other places. To be surprised by joy.
And, of course, that the secret to life is to be found in poetry, a particular line in a particular poem – I cannot disagree.

You can read about Denise Levertov here and here.

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  1. By In Mind – Fiat Camena on June 20, 2012 at 08:01

    […] as young and casually cruel but dashing and interesting. We’ve run another poem by Levertov here. There’s some biographical information on that page as well. You can read a bit more about […]

  2. By A Woman Alone – Fiat Camena on July 6, 2012 at 01:24

    […] will be peace. You can read other poems by Levertov that we’ve run on this site here and here. Those poems also have links to biographical information about […]

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