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


The Sharks

Well then, the last day the sharks appeared.
Dark fins appear, innocent
as if in fair warning. The sea becomes
sinister, are they everywhere?
I tell you, they break six feet of water.
Isn't it the same sea, and won’t we
play in it any more?
I like it clear and not 
too calm, enough waves
to fly in on. For the first time
I dared to swim out of my depth.
It was sundown when they came, the time 
when a sheen of copper still the sea,
not dark enough for moonlight, clear enough
to see them easily. Dark
the sharp lift of the fins. 

Credit


"The Sharks" by Denise Levertov, from Collected Earlier Poems 1940-1960, copyright © 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1979 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: 1957-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/sharks