Poetry Friday: The Secret


I finished reading Christopher Lehman and Kate Robert’s new book, Falling in Love With Close Reading (Heinemann, 2013) last week. Kate and Chris have done a terrific job articulating the elements of close reading. At the same time, they encourage teachers to be purposeful about using close reading strategies. Close reading is not something to be done on every page of every book. Their main point it that close reading should be done when there is a deeper understanding to be gained.

All week I’ve been thinking about the application of these ideas in the classroom. I have been looking at texts differently since reading Falling in Love With Close Reading. Noticing patterns I might have skimmed over in the past, or asking myself, “I wonder why the author chose that word.” All this thinking reminded me of “The Secret” by Denise Levertov.

The Secret

by Denise Levertov

Two girls discover

the secret of life

in a sudden line of


I who don’t know the

secret wrote

the line. They

told me

(through a third person)

they had found it

but not what it was

not even

what line it was. No doubt

by now, more than a week

later, they have forgotten

the secret,

the line, the name of

the poem. I love them

for finding what

I can’t find,

Read the rest of the poem here.

“Two Girls Reading”
Pierre-Auguste Renoir [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Please visit Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference for the Poetry Friday Round Up.

6 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: The Secret

  1. Love this! It’s how I feel about visiting the PF roundup. So much goodness and I try to hold onto it all, but it winds up just making a sweet rich wash over my brain cells and who knows what sticks and what doesn’t, what I borrow in my own writing and what I learn for my own life.

    (Can’t wait for break so I can dig into Falling In Love With Close Reading…)


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