The Springtime

By Denise Levertov 1923–1997 Denise Levertov
The red eyes of rabbits   
aren't sad. No one passes
the sad golden village in a barge
any more. The sunset   
will leave it alone. If the   
curtains hang askew   
it is no one's fault.
Around and around and around
everywhere the same sound   
of wheels going, and things   
growing older, growing   
silent. If the dogs
bark to each other
all night, and their eyes   
flash red, that's
nobody's business. They have   
a great space of dark to   
bark across. The rabbits   
will bare their teeth at   
the spring moon.

Denise Levertov, “The Springtime” from Collected Earlier Poems 1940-1960. Copyright © 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1979 by Denise Levertov. Reprinted with the permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation,

Source: The Jacob's Ladder (New Directions, 1961)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Denise Levertov 1923–1997

SCHOOL / PERIOD Black Mountain

Subjects Spring, Nature

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Denise  Levertov


During the course of a prolific career, Denise Levertov created a highly regarded body of poetry that reflects her beliefs as an artist and a humanist. Her work embraces 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 . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Spring, Nature

SCHOOL / PERIOD Black Mountain

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.