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The Stream and the Sapphire: Selected Poems on Religious Themes
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The Stream and the Sapphire: Selected Poems on Religious Themes

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  152 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
The poet presents a selection of thirty-four of her own poems culled from previously published volumes, tracing her movement from agnosticism to Christian faith and her oscillation from doubt to affirmation along the way.
Paperback, 88 pages
Published May 17th 1997 by New Directions
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Sarah Elizabeth
Mar 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Read for one of my college seminars. . . Levertov is an impressive and moving poem. Much more personal and relatable than Merton or Milosz were; but at the same time, she doesn't try to explain any point of faith. The power of her writing lies in the fact that reader can understand immediately what her faith means and come to a stronger faith themselves-- the reader and author can fully understand each other-- but the author never really explains much. Sometimes, a single word is enough for her ...more
Stephen Lake
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Exquisite poetry. Crystalline prism of words refracting the Light--His Incarnate life, poured out in love and death, and raised again. And you find in Levertov's words, too, the dim shadow of doubt and desire that haunts our humanity and longs for eternity. I shall undoubtedly return again and again to these poems.
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality, poetry
A collection of poems on spiritual (in this case Christian) themes culled from seven of Denise Levertov's previously published collections. Exquisite poems sparkling with spiritual light and insight.
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This collection of "selected poems on religious themes" is not to be confused with religious poetry, or inspirational poetry. Here we have a renowned modern poet from the late 20th Century, who embraced the Christian faith late in life, interacting with spiritual sources that crossed her path while on her journey of faith.

Often one only gets out of a poem what one brings to it, at other times the poem speaks for itself. Both are the case here. Levertov develops a personal dialogue with various t
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, books-of-2018
Here is some really good poetry.
Sep 10, 2015 rated it liked it
"It is for all
'literalists of the imagination'
poets or not,
that miracle is possible,
possible and essential...

For others, of whom I am one,
miracles (ultimate need, bread of life)
are miracles just because
people so tuned to the humdrum laws: gravity, mortality -
can't open to symbol's power
unless convinced of its ground,
its roots
in bone and blood.

We must feel the pusle in the wound
to believe
that 'with God all things are possible'
taste bread at Emmaus
that warm hands
broke and blessed.
Randy Cauthen
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
I love a lot of Levertov's stuff, of course -- but I had to drag myself through this.
It's not that the poems are religious, it's that they're devotional. She should have kept 'em between herself and The Lord.
In some of them you can hear her earlier music -- "The Tide," "To Live in the Mercy of God." Not many, though.
Amy Sawyer
Jan 18, 2010 rated it liked it
I think I am supposed to like Denise Levertov. This is the second book of hers I have read and so far she isn't doing it for me. I haven't given up on her yet. But I really hoped to like this one, and I like some of the poems here but didn't feel all tingly reading it like I do with poetry that wins me over.
Nov 21, 2009 added it
Shelves: poetry
Matt Woodle
Dec 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book of Levertov's "religious" poems.
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Denise Levertov was born in Ilford, Essex, England. Her mother, Beatrice Spooner-Jones Levertoff, was Welsh. Her father, Paul Levertoff, immigrated to England from Germany, was a Russian Hassidic Jew who, after converting to Christianity, became an Anglican parson. At the age of 12, she sent some of her poems to T. S. Eliot, who replied with a two-page letter of encouragement. In 1940, when she wa ...more
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