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

  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (10/24/2019 6:08:00 AM)

    Ah, Grief,
    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. //// wonderful expression on grief(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Henry TongHenry 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

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • minax (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

    3 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Ratnakar Mandlik (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

    2 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Marieta MaglasMarieta Maglas (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

    4 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Jayatissa K. LiyanageJayatissa 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

    4 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Savita TyagiSavita 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

    3 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (10/24/2016 6:17:00 AM)

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

    3 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Indira RenganathanIndira Renganathan (10/24/2016 2:34:00 AM)

    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

    5 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Bernard F. AsuncionBernard F. Asuncion (10/24/2016 2:34:00 AM)

    Congrats for being selected......(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
Read all 10 comments »



What do you think this poem is about?

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



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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