Denise Levertov, born on this day in 1923, was The Nation’s poetry editor in the 1960s. Her first poem in our pages was “The Sage,” published in the issue of November 1, 1958.

The cat is eating the roses:
that’s the way he is.
Don’t stop him, don’t stop
the world going round,
that’s the way things are.
The third of May
was misty; fourth of May
who knows. Sweep
the rose-meat up, throw the bits
out in the rain.
He never eats
every crumb, says
the hearts are bitter.
That’s the way he is, he knows
the world and the weather.

October 24, 1923

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