I am completely grateful when people share poetry with me, especially when that poem courts the topic of grief with careful simplicity, honest and eloquent.
My favorite poems about grief do either one of two things: express my own experience in a way I never could put words to or call on me to think differently about my experience.
It’s a special thing when a poem can do both.
Today I’m paying forward a beautiful grief poem written by Denise Levertov that was shared with me by a fellow reader and friend. (Thank you, S.)
The first time I read this, it’s not that I felt validated – my grief felt validated. Each subsequent read makes me realize how very important it is to make space for all that we feel, all that we are, all that we hope for.
The more I read this poem, the more I can see another, kinder way to live with grief.
May it call up your compassion the way it does for me.
Talking to Grief, a 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 realized
before winter comes. You need
your collar and tag. You need
the right to warn off intruders,
my house your own
and me your person
my own dog.
. . .
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Did this poem shine a new light on grief for you, or make you think differently about your experience?
Tell me in the comments.
Everything you share here helps more than you could know.
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