The Sharks

Denise Levertov

 
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.
 
"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.

Poems by This Author

Ikon: The Harrowing of Hell by Denise Levertov
Down through the tomb's inward arch
In California During the Gulf War by Denise Levertov
Among the blight-killed eucalypts, among
Losing Track by Denise Levertov
Long after you have swung back
Mass for the Day of St. Thomas Didymus [excerpt] by Denise Levertov
Praise the wet snow
Sojourns in the Parallel World by Denise Levertov
We live our lives of human passions,
St. Peter and the Angel by Denise Levertov
Delivered out of raw continual pain,
The Broken Sandal by Denise Levertov
Dreamed the thong of my sandal broke
The Great Black Heron by Denise Levertov
Since I stroll in the woods more often
The Métier of Blossoming by Denise Levertov
Fully occupied with growing--that's
The Mutes by Denise Levertov
Those groans men use
The Secret by Denise Levertov
Two girls discover
When We Look Up by Denise Levertov
He had not looked


Further Reading

Poems about Sharks
Angel Shark
by Hailey Leithauser
Ants and Sharks
by Tomasz Rózycki
Ashore
by Ernest Hilbert
At Shark Reef Sanctuary
by Eva Alice Counsell
Beach Walk
by Henri Cole
Coffee and Oranges
by Joel Brouwer
Flying Fish: An Ode [excerpt]
by Charles Wharton Stork
Haunted Seas
by Cale Young Rice
I Wonder What It Feels Like to be Drowned?
by Robert Graves
In a Breath
by Carl Sandburg
Inheritance of Waterfalls and Sharks
by Martín Espada
Murray Dreaming
by Stephen Edgar
No Place Like Home
by Stephen Cushman
Ode on Dictionaries
by Barbara Hamby
Plague of Dead Sharks
by Alan Dugan
Rome
by Brigit Pegeen Kelly
Seal Lullaby
by Rudyard Kipling
Sharks in the Rivers
by Ada Limón
Sharks' Teeth
by Kay Ryan
Shoal of Sharks
by Richard O'Connell
Song of the Paddlers [excerpt]
by Herman Melville
Submarine Mountains
by Cale Young Rice
Summer [excerpt]
by James Thomson
The Bluefish
by Isaac McLellan
The Maldive Shark
by Herman Melville
The Ripple Effect
by Jamey Dunham
The Sea is History
by Derek Walcott
The Shark
by Judith Beveridge
The Shark
by Lord Alfred Douglas
The Shark
by Isaac McLellan
The Shark
by William Henry Venable
The Shark's Parlor
by James Dickey
The Sirens
by James Russell Lowell
The Steel Rippers
by Patricia Carlin
Tiger Shark
by Hailey Leithauser
Untitled [There, by the crescent moon, the shark]
by Shido
Upon Shark
by Robert Herrick
What To Do About Sharks
by Vivian Shipley
White Sales
by Allen Grossman
World Below the Brine
by Walt Whitman