Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


When We Look Up

He had not looked,
pitiful man whom none

pity, whom all
must pity if they look

into their own face (given
only by glass, steel, water
barely known) all
who look up

to see-how many
faces? How many

seen in a lifetime? (Not those that flash by, but those

into which the gaze wanders
and is lost

and returns to tell
Here is a mystery,

a person, an
other, an I?

Credit


"When We Look Up" by Denise Levertov, from Poems: 1960-1967, copyright © 1966 by Denise Levertov. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.

Author


Denise Levertov

Though Denise Levertov was born in England, she became known as one of the great American poets and became an important voice in the American avant-garde.

Date Published: 1966-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/when-we-look