The Secret

Two girls discover   
the secret of life   
in a sudden line of   
poetry.

I who don’t know the   
secret wrote   
the line. They   
told me

(through a third person)   
they had found it
but not what it was   
not even

what line it was. No doubt   
by now, more than a week   
later, they have forgotten   
the secret,

the line, the name of   
the poem. I love them   
for finding what   
I can’t find,

and for loving me   
for the line I wrote,   
and for forgetting it   
so that

a thousand times, till death   
finds them, they may   
discover it again, in other   
lines

in other   
happenings. And for   
wanting to know it,   
for

assuming there is   
such a secret, yes,   
for that   
most of all.

Denise Levertov, “The Secret” from O Taste and See: New Poems. Copyright © 1964 by Denise Levertov. Used by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.
Source: O Taste and See: New Poems (1964)
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