Thursday, June 17, 2021

Denise Levertov dancing to "Workingman's Dead"

In January, I came across Jeffrey Harrison's poem "Elizabeth Bishop and The Grateful Dead": "I'd like to think it happened – / my favorite poet meeting my favorite band." Harrison's favorites are also mine, so his wish fulfillment would also be mine. This morning, in my daily reading of one Denise Levertov poem, I finished her long poem "Staying Alive", and read in a sub-section called "Happiness" of my teacher dancing to the Dead in 1970: "Two nights dancing (Workingman’s Dead) / with someone of such grace and goodness, happiness / made real in his true smile." I imagine Denise's "true smile" while dancing and singing along: "Come hear Uncle John's Band"! (Andrew Shields, #111words, 17 June 2021)


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