Denise Levertov

(24 October 1923 – 20 December 1997 / Ilford, Essex)

Psalm Concerning The Castle

Poem by Denise Levertov

Let me be at the place of the castle.
Let the castle be within me.
Let it rise foursquare from the moat's ring.
Let the moat's waters reflect green plumage of ducks, let
   the shells of swimming turtles break the surface or be
   seen through the rippling depths.
Let horsemen be stationed at the rim of it, and a dog,
   always alert on the brink of sleep.
Let the space under the first storey be dark, let the water
   lap the stone posts, and vivid green slime glimmer upon
   them; let a boat be kept there.
Let the caryatids of the second storey be bears upheld on
   beams that are dragons.
On the parapet of the central room, let there be four
   archers, looking off to the four horizons. Within, let
   the prince be at home, let him sit in deep thought, at
   peace, all the windows open to the loggias.
Let the young queen sit above, in the cool air, her child in
   her arms; let her look with joy at the great circle, the
   pilgrim shadows, the work of the sun and the play of
   the wind. Let her walk to and fro. Let the columns uphold
   the roof, let the storeys uphold the columns, let there
   be dark space below the lowest floor, let the castle rise
   foursquare out of the moat, let the moat be a ring and
   the water deep, let the guardians guard it, let there be
   wide lands around it, let that country where it stands be
   within me, let me be where it is.

Comments about Psalm Concerning The Castle by Denise Levertov

  • Sarah Hill (12/21/2017 2:14:00 PM)

    This is one of my long-standing favorite poems. It has helped me through many a difficult time. It is a meditation of great peace and acceptance. Bless you, DL(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Marina Armstrong (10/10/2010 12:53:00 AM)

    This poem is a place to come for beauty and peace. I seeps into the core of you.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 2 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: swimming, dog, green, water, dark, work, peace, child, sleep, joy, home, wind, sun, children, rose

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003