Denise Levertov

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

The Secret

Poem by Denise Levertov

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.

Comments about The Secret by Denise Levertov

  • Michael deCamp (1/2/2019 9:36:00 PM)

    The poet writes something with a certain intent and because it is metaphor doesn't see all the meanings. When it is revealed that the lines meant something powerful to another mind but he doesn't get to find out what the other saw.
    It is fun to be told that I've said something that appeared profound to another though I hadn't perceived it.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Rajnish MangaRajnish Manga (7/2/2017 1:38:00 AM)

    This may look strange but to me it is very obvious. During the course of life we are fascinated by so many things, including a poem or its lines, but they may move into oblivion over a period of time. Life is like that. Thanks.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Leslie SharpLeslie Sharp (9/10/2014 8:00:00 AM)

    Finding the treasures of life, discovering what are purpose is in life! When it all boils down to our souls, I believe
    the world is in us because all life experiences is what the world is, without them in our souls, spirits there
    would only be a living organism like a leaf, but we are all one with the leaf and world. So how would this be? That is the secret.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Dan Tree (4/11/2009 8:01:00 PM)

    One of my favorite poems - and an experience I've had with a friend just like this...(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Sonya Florentino (1/25/2009 9:11:00 PM)

    :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
Read all 5 comments »

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Read poems about / on: poetry, poem, death, life, girl

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003