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Everything that Acts Is Actual

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From the tawny light
from the rainy nights
from the imagination finding
itself and more than itself
alone and more than alone
at the bottom of the well where the moon lives,   
can you pull me

into December? a lowland
of space, perception of space
towering of shadows of clouds blown upon
clouds over
                  new ground, new made
under heavy December footsteps? the only
way to live?

The flawed moon
acts on the truth, and makes   
an autumn of tentative
silences.
You lived, but somewhere else,
your presence touched others, ring upon ring,
and changed. Did you think   
I would not change?

                              The black moon
turns away, its work done. A tenderness,
unspoken autumn.   
We are faithful
only to the imagination. What the
imagination
             seizes
as beauty must be truth. What holds you
to what you see of me is
that grasp alone.

Denise Levertov, “Everything that Acts Is Actual” from Collected Earlier Poems 1940-1960. Copyright 1949, © 1979 by Denise Levertov. Reprinted with the permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation, www.wwnorton.com/nd/welcome.htm.
Source: Selected Poems (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 2002)
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Everything that Acts Is Actual

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