Denise Levertov

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

Talking To Grief - Poem by Denise Levertov

Ah, Grief, I should not treat you
like a homeless dog
who comes to the back door
for a crust, for a meatless bone.
I should trust you.

I should coax you
into the house and give you
your own corner,
a worn mat to lie on,
your own water dish.

You think I don't know you've been living
under my porch.
You long for your real place to be readied
before winter comes. You need
your name,
your collar and tag. You need
the right to warn off intruders,
to consider
my house your own
and me your person
and yourself
my own dog.

Comments about Talking To Grief by Denise Levertov

  • Henry Tong (1/25/2018 9:20:00 AM)

    The poet's grief has a personality.Levertov definitely captures the transience and individuality of grief and turns it into a company. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • (12/17/2017 1:14:00 PM)

    I really love how she gave her grief a personality, how she showed us that THIS grief was hers and nobody else's (Report) Reply

  • (10/24/2016 10:53:00 PM)

    No doubt grief is the dependable companion of human beings that is a neighbor next door.
    Heartiest Congrats on the modern POD.
    (Report) Reply

  • (10/24/2016 4:06:00 PM)

    The poetry of Denise Levertov is a poetry of suffering in equilibrium while wanting 'to show that violence has become an everyday occurrence.' She personifies this grief in order to prove that we can coexist with it. She's not passive, but she has an original method to fight for life through grief and this is so beautifully expressed through her poetry. (Report) Reply

  • Jayatissa K. Liyanage (10/24/2016 9:42:00 AM)

    How would one recognize and entertain joy, if one doesn't know what grief is. Grief being part of life has to be cared and managed like an obedient dog in one's own den. An Excellent metaphoric expression. Thanks for sharing the thought provoking poem. X (Report) Reply

  • Savita Tyagi (10/24/2016 9:03:00 AM)

    Excellent poem. Grief is always there to share our life. There would be no joy without it. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (10/24/2016 6:17:00 AM)

    Dreams and hope
    The grief of life! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Indira Renganathan (10/24/2016 2:34:00 AM)

    Talking To Grief
    Your verbalization is good.. specially the metaphor..but why do you want to give grief-dog a corner in your heart (house) making yourself his person thereby turning to be ever a grieving person? Robert has said it very nicely..
    I totally agree with him..10 for your good choice of words
    (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (10/24/2016 2:34:00 AM)

    What a touching talk to the sorrow....
    Congrats for being selected...... (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: dog, house, trust, grief, winter, water, warning

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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