The Secret of Life
Too many readers and too many teachers approach a poem wanting to know its secret. Solve for X. Explain the mystery as if it were a whodunnit. Denise Levertov’s poem “The Secret” plays with that whole idea.
When Levertov was 12 years old, she sent some of her poems to T.S. Eliot, who wrote her back a two-page letter, typed. Levertov was born in England and worked in London as a nurse, but came to the United States when she married an American. She was the kind of poet who worked right up to her death — writing, editing, teaching, occasionally being jailed for political protest — but she was not showered with awards. Her reputation has grown quietly. To the casual poetry reader, her name is a secret.
My first step in memorizing “The Secret” was to play with the poem’s line breaks.
Read more at Tweetspeak Poetry