Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mappemonde / Map of the World

The Dog of Art

That dog with daisies for eyes
who flashes forth
flame of his very self at every bark
is the Dog of Art.
Worked in wool, his blind eyes
look inward to caverns and jewels
which they see perfectly,
and his voice
measures forth the treasure
in music sharp and loud,
sharp and bright,
bright flaming barks,
and growling smoky soft, the Dog
of Art turns to the world
the quietness of his eyes.

Denise Levertov (1923-1997)

It may have been 1992 that a friend invited me to go to Seattle to the University of Washington to hear Denise Levertov read her poetry. While listening to her read, I drew what I could see in front of me. While going through all my belongings this past week, I found the drawing you see at top of this post. Not sure why I wrote "mappemond."

Here is Denise Levertov as a young woman:

and in her last years:


The Solitary Walker said...

Well, I love Levertov's poetry, as you know. This poem, I think, is about the rich, interior world of the imagination - and how we express it. The blind seer is a universal motif in myth and literature. Interesting - the quiet, in-seeing eyes, contrasted with the bright flaming, barking music of voiced creation.

Anonymous said...

Great sketch, great account of an important event. This is surely a keeper. I agree with TSW, a priceless memento all around. Thanks for sharing this. kjm

am said...

Solitary Walker -- Splendid poem, isn't it?

kjm -- You're welcome!