Sanctuary: A Clearing

In many ways, the poem below speaks to Rick and me of our home here at the coast!  This home is our sanctuary.  Many may wonder why on most weekends we  drive  for two and a half hours each way to spend three precious days here.  It is our sanctuary, our paradise, our home that we built with our own hands from the ground up!  As Levertov describes so beautifully below, our home here at the coast, Little Renaissance,  has become a crafted poem.

A Clearing
by Denise Levertov

What lies at the end of enticing
country driveways, curving
off among trees? Often only
a car graveyard, a house-trailer,
a trashy bungalow. But this one,
for once, brings you
through the shade of its green tunnel
to a paradise of cedars,
of lawns mown but not too closely,
of iris, moss, fern, rivers of stone rounded
by sea or stream,
of a wooden unassertive large-windowed house.
The big trees enclose
an expanse of sky, trees and sky
together protect the clearing.
One is sheltered here
from the assaultive world
as if escaped from it, and yet
once arrived, is given (oneself
and others being a part of that world)
a generous welcome.
It’s paradise
as a paradigm for how
to live on earth,
how to be private and open
quiet and richly eloquent.
Everything man-made here
was truly made by the hands
of those who live here, of those
who live with what they have made.
It took time, and is growing still
because it’s alive.
It is paradise, and paradise
is a kind of poem; it has
a poem’s characteristics:
inspiration; starting with the given;
unexpected harmonies; revelations.
It’s rare among
the worlds one finds
at the end of enticing driveways.

“A Clearing” by Denise Levertov, from This Great Unknowing: Last Poems.


2 Responses to “Sanctuary: A Clearing”

  1. kay Says:

    I love this poem. now i can associate it with your welcoming place that truly is a haven from the assaulting world. lovely.


  2. Rene Says:

    Your place is like this, to others too. Thank you for sharing your space with me and others; your retreats are wonderful. Can’t wait to go back!!


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