Thursday, November 19, 2020

"Veiled / in scaffolding": building buildings and writing poems with Denise Levertov

In the second section of "A Sequence", Denise Levertov considers the presence of scaffolding during construction: "The building veiled / in scaffolding. When the builders leave, / tenants will move in, pervading / cubic space with breath and dreams." Although scaffolding is necessary to build buildings, it "veils" them and has to be removed for  them to become livable spaces for the body ("breath") and the imagination ("dreams"). This would not have struck me as much if it were not for Denise's use of the metaphor of "scaffolding" in her poetry workshops in the 1980s to refer to language that is needed to draft a poem but is then best removed. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 19 November)

No comments: