Come into Animal Presence By Denise Levertov 
 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 emb...
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 Come into animal presence.

 No man is so guileless as

 the serpent. The lonely white

 rabbit on the roof is a star

 twitching its ears at the rain.

 The llama intricately

 folding its hind legs to be seated

 not disdains but mildly

 disregards human approval.

 What joy when the insouciant

 armadillo glances at us and doesn't

 quicken his trotting

 across the track into the palm brush.


 What is this joy? That no animal

 falters, but knows what it must do?

 That the snake has no blemish,

 that the rabbit inspects his strange surroundings

 in white star-silence? The llama

 rests in dignity, the armadillo

 has some intention to pursue in the palm-forest.

 Those who were sacred have remained so,

 holiness does not dissolve, it is a presence

 of bronze, only the sight that saw it

 faltered and turned from it.

 An old joy returns in holy presence.



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