Denise Levertov

A Letter to William Kinter of Muhlenberg

Zaddik, you showed me
the Stations of the Cross

and I saw
not what the almost abstract

tiles held—world upon world—
but at least

a shadow of what
might be seen there if mind and heart

gave themselves to meditation,

and deeper into Imagination’s
holy forest, as travelers

followed the Zohar’s dusty
shimmering roads, talking

with prophets and
hidden angels.

From the bus, Zaddik,
going home to New York,

I saw a new world
for a while—it was

the gold light on a rocky slope,
the road-constructors talking to each other,

bear-brown of winter woods, and later
lights of New Jersey factories and the vast

December moon. I saw 
without words within me, saw

as if my eyes
had grown bigger and knew

how to look without
being told what it was they saw.

Zaddik - Hebrew for a righteous and saintly person by Jewish religious standards

Zohar - the chief text of the Jewish Kabbalah, presented as an allegorical or mystical interpretation of the Pentateuch