The Secret

The Secret

By: Denise Levetrov


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.



About the Author:

(Excerpt is taken from;


During the course of a prolific career, Denise Levertov created a highly regarded body of poetry that reflected her beliefs as an artist and a humanist. Her work embraced a wide variety of genres and themes, including nature lyrics, love poems, protest poetry, and poetry inspired by her faith in God. “Dignity, reverence, and strength are words that come to mind as one gropes to characterize … one of America’s most respected poets,” wrote Amy Gerstler in the Los Angeles Times Book Review, adding that Levertov possessed “a clear uncluttered voice—a voice committed to acute observation and engagement with the earthly, in all its attendant beauty, mystery and pain.” Levertov was born in England and came to the United States in 1948; during her lifetime she was associated with Black Mountain poets such as Robert Duncan and Robert Creeley. Invested in the organic, open-form procedures of William Carlos Williams, Levertov’s body of quietly passionate poems, attuned to mystic insights and mapping quests for harmony, became darker and more political in the 1960s as a result of personal loss and her political activism against the Vietnam War. In Modern American Women Poets, Jean Gould called Levertov “a poet of definite political and social consciousness.” However, Levertov refused to be labeled, and Kenneth Rexroth once described her as “in fact classically independent.”

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