Monday, November 07, 2005

Intrusion by Denise Levertov

by Denise Levertov

After I had cut off my hands
and grown new ones

something my former hands had longed for
came and asked to be rocked.

After my plucked out eyes
had withered, and new ones grown

something my former eyes had wept for
came asking to be pitied.

August, 1969

This is an extremely strange poem. I like the way it uses repitition to present a stylized situation twice over, first with the hands, and second with the eyes. Perhaps this poem is about new beginnings, or perhaps it's about the inability to choose one's own destiny. I get these notions because the new hands are being born, and asked to touch the old subject of their touching. Likewise, the new eyes are being born, and the object of the old eyes' weeping now desires to be pitied by the new eyes. Thus is the succession of things. An interesting short poem, with strange yet engaging language. There is a sort of set up by the hands situation that is then resolved by the eyes situation. Of course, this poem is not to be taken literally, and is pretty ironic in fact. Perhaps it is an ode to the fact that we cannot run away from our problems, no matter what extremes we take in order to try.


Blogger Esther said...

I agree that this is an extremely strange poem as well. It kind of brings in a picture of violence and odd actions. The cutting off my hands and "plucked out eyes" seems a little too blunt for my taste. I tis possible that the speaker is trying to convey a different point besides the literal meaning. Even if the poem seems odd, I still enjoy the words that the speaker uses, such as pitied, and withered.

12:18 AM  
Blogger Naseem said...

I agree this is a very strange poem but still very engaging. I think it is a poem about change, but it definetly can not be taken literally.

12:22 AM  
Blogger Julie Mong said...

This poem is so simply written but it has so much meaning in it. the way the speaker says that vital parts of the body are lossed and regrown is weird. We all know we cannot grow back arms and eyes but the speaker uses these things. I think it symbolizes the differences between two periods in one's life, the change. I agree with you there. How from one time when things that could not be reached or grasped are now readily available. Really interesting.

10:15 PM  

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