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“A Time Past” by Denise Levertov

In “A Time Past”, Denise Levertov expressed her happy memories while she was with her husband and her feelings towards their relationship. The poem reflects how she was deeply in love with her husband that time. This is evident with how she reacted on the simple gestures of her husband and how she valued his words. Levertov also mentioned other people close to her, such as her son and her friend. We can find her talking to her husband as noted by her use of “you. ” The most prominent object in the poem is “the old wooden steps. ” She used it as a medium in reminiscing the past.

It played the central part in the poem as it connected the different time frames of her experiences. She relates several of her most cherished memories in the “old wooden steps”; even though the stairs were no longer physically present as it too was part of her memory. Levertov used simple language to convey her experience and her feelings. In this way, she was able to expose a series of images that is comprehendible and easy to visualize. In the first stanza, the image is somewhat a typical one but the emotions she shared were unique in some way.

She described how her joy upon seeing her husband and “the old wooden steps” pulled her to her feet to tell her husband “I love you. ” She also used figurative language (‘golden day’ and the ‘dew almost freeze’) here to give emphasis to the moment. In the second stanza, the image is focused on the wooden steps and what happened to it at the moment. She described how they were gone and replaced. Here, she gave emphasis on what the steps mean to her when she said that the steps live in her and that her body remembers the feeling of sitting on it. Finally, she mentioned the cherished memories she had with the steps.

She mentioned some people she used to spend time with in the past sitting on the old wooden steps. And most importantly, she showed how she loved her husband by citing one unforgettable instant – the time he said to her “I love you”. The line “The quiet broken by no bird, no cricket, gold leaves spinning in silence down without any breeze to blow them” figuratively describes how she valued the moment she spent with her husband and the importance of his words. Symbols Old wooden steps – symbolizes her memories Golden day – describes a bright day The quiet broken by no bird, no cricket – she preferred to listen to nothing

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