POETRY: Ascension, by Denise Levertov

Ascension Denise Levertov

Stretching Himself as if again,
through downpress of dust
upward, soil giving way
to thread of white, that reaches
for daylight, to open as green
leaf that it is. . .
Can Ascension
not have been
arduous, almost,
as the return
from Sheol, and
back through the tomb
into breath?
Matter reanimate
now must relinquish
itself, its
human cells,
molecules, five
senses, linear
visions endured
as Man—
the sole
all-encompassing gaze
resumed now,
Eye of Eternity.
Relinquished, earth’s
broken Eden.
Expulsion,
liberation,
last
self-enjoined task
of Incarnation.
He again
Fathering Himself.
Seed-case
splitting,
He again
Mothering His birth:
torture and bliss.

 

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