“What My House Would Be Like If It Were A Person”

I’m very fond of this question. As Jess Collins put it in an interview once, “I don’t see that much difference between the spiritual and the material. All matter is energy, and all matter and energy are infused with spirit.” The things I’ve filled my living space with are made of matter and they, generally speaking, possess the very spiritual ability to sustain me and my very base need for textural beauty. My house would definitely be a mentally disturbed person obsessed with stuffing books down his throat, stockpiling paint cans and rocking back and forth on old, creaky chairs. He would be a man, of course, who’s embraced the feminine.

But they do have moods, don’t they, our homes? I suspect you’d glean everything important about me the minute you walked into mine and were perceptive enough…


What My House Would Be Like If It Were A Person
by Denise Levertov
from Poems 1972-1982

This person would be an animal.
This animal would be large, at least as large
as a workhorse. It would chew cud, like cows,
having several stomachs.
No one could follow it
into the dense brush to witness
its mating habits. Hidden by fur,
its sex would be hard to determine.
Definitely it would discourage
investigation. But it would be, if not teased,
a kind, amiable animal,
confiding as a chickadee. Its intelligence
would be of a high order,
neither human nor animal, elvish.
And it would purr, though of course,
it being a house, you would sit in its lap,
not it in yours.
Here is Denise Levertov reading some more poems.

1 Comment

Filed under Poetry

One response to ““What My House Would Be Like If It Were A Person”

  1. Donna

    Love this question. My house would undoubtedly be a clown or a court jester.

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