Tag Archives: poetry

A Sudden Line of Poetry

Two girls discover the secret of life
   in a sudden line of poetry.
I who don’t know the secret wrote
   the line. They told me
(through 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 to so that
a thousand times, till death finds them, they may
   discover it again, in other lines,
in other happenings. And for
   wanting to know it, for
assuming that these is such a secret, yet,
   for that most of all.

– Denise Levertov

{There’s an entire branch of philosophy dedicated to defining “art.”  I’d say that something can be described as art when there’s more there than the author put into it – when it’s beautiful/expressive/??? enough that people can enjoy and learn from it in ways the author never imagined.

{I’m not advocating the style of criticism that ignores what the author intended and says that only the text matters, and you can pull out of it what you want. But a good book or symphony or painting can speak to you in ways the author wouldn’t have imagined, or give you comfort in a situation they never thought to address. Art takes on a life of its own.}