‘A Cure of Souls’, by Denise Levertov

The pastor
of grief and dreams

guides his flock towards
the next field

with all his care.
He has heard

the bell tolling
but the sheep

are hungry and need
the grass, today and

every day. Beautiful
his patience, his long

shadow, the rippling
sound of the flocks moving

along the valley.

– Denise Levertov, ‘A Cure of Souls’, in Poems, 1960–1967 (New York: New Directions Publishing, 1983), 92.


  1. This poem reminds me of Banjo Paterson’s “The Travelling Post Office”:

    By camp fires where the drovers ride around their
    restless stock,
    And past the teamster toiling down to fetch the
    wool away
    My letter chases Conroy’s sheep along the


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