Denise Levertov, American poet and activist, died in December 1997 at the age of 74. This book contains some twenty previously uncollected interviews conducted between the early 1960s and the middle of the 1990s. They are focused primarily on her work as a poet but also on her social and political concerns. The interviews in which Levertov discusses her craft constitute an important document on American poetry in the second half of the twentieth century. She talks of her legendary friendship with her mentor William Carlos Williams and her association with the Black Mountain Poets. As she discusses her craft in great detail, she gives special attention to diction, line lengths, versification, and choice of subject matter. Students of American culture and readers of American poetry will be delighted by this collection of the personal views of one of the century's best poets.
Author : Audrey T. Rodgers
ISBN : 083863494X
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 53.7 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This study is concerned with both Denise Levertov's social consciousness as manifested in her earliest poetry and with her growth as a "poet in the world." Early in her career, Levertov was highly praised as a lyric poet of considerable sensitivity whose poems were succinct (at times mystical, at times sensuous) and whose technical gifts were impeccable. During the height of her emergence as a political dissident during the Vietnam War, the "Orphic" poet was seen as having traded aesthetics for polemics. Audrey T. Rodgers works to disprove the assumption that art and politics are mutually exclusive entities in Levertov's work. Through careful analysis of Levertov's social verse, she demonstrates that there is a consistency and pattern in what the artist herself has termed the "poems of engagement." Denise Levertov began her career in England as a lyric poet in the Romantic mode, but even then was touched by the reductive nature of war, revealed in her first published poem, "Listening to Distant Guns." During the mid-1960s Levertov's social conscience, notably her strong antiwar sentiment, was reawakened by the Vietnam War. This reawakening resulted in several volumes of poetry that mirrored her concerns with the war (and political activism at home) and her perplexity at the nature of human beings - often great and compassionate, but at times cruel and insensitive. There exists a common thread in Levertov's pilgrimage from her beginning as a lyric poet to her status as an artist definitively in the world: she has always responded to everything within the compass of her experience. From To Stay Alive to The Jacob's Ladder and The Sorrow Dance - from Relearning the Alphabet to O Taste and See, Footprints, and Life in the Forest - Levertov covers a wide range of emotion. Sorrow, joy and celebration, empathy, perplexity, rage, and despair are treated to be sure, but overriding is a hope and profound sensitivity to beauty amid chaos. This appreciation of beauty is central to her later volumes - Candles in Babylon, Oblique Prayers, Breathing the Water, and A Door in the Hive - as well. In these, Levertov does not ignore social injustice, yet manages to inspire through images of nature, a search for a transcendent faith, and an exploration of human potential, love, and friendship.
Denise Levertov's Selected Poems delivers in a single accessible volume "one of the essential poets of our time" (Poetry Flash). Culled from two dozen poetry books, and drawing from six decades of her writing life, The Selected Poems of Denise Levertov offers a chronological overview of her great body of work. It is splendid and impressive to have at last a clear, unobstructed view of her ground-breaking poetrythe work of a poet who, as Kenneth Rexroth put it, "more than anyone, led the redirection of American poetry...to the mainstream of world literature." Described by Publishers Weekly as "at once as intimate as Creeley and as visionary as Duncan," Levertov was lauded as "one of the indispensable poets of our language, one of those few writers to whom it is necessary to pay attention" by The Malahat Review. No poet is more overdue for a single accessible volume; no career could be better to have within easy reach.
Author : Donna Krolik Hollenberg
ISBN : 9780520272460
Genre : Poetry
File Size : 57.79 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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"The first full-length biography of British-born poet Denise Levertov (1923-1997) brings to life a major voice in American poetry during the second half of the twentieth century. Drawing on exhaustive archival reserach of Levertov's entire opus and on interviews with dozens of the poet's friends, Donna Krolik Hollneberg's authoritative biography captures the full complexity of Levertov's entire opus and on interviews with dozens of the poet's friends, Donna Korlik Hollenberg's authoritative biography captures the full complexity of Levertov as both a woman and an artist, and the dynamic world she inhabited"--Front jacket flap.
Gathered here in one handy volume are 62 poems about nature and the ecology. But, as the author notes in her preface, these are not all praise-poems"celebration and fear of loss are necessarily conjoined". This compact gift-book will have special appeal to those who love Mother Earth.
Three of Denise Levertov's classic volumes, now available in a single edition. Here gathered for the first time in a single edition are three of Denise Levertov's finest books: The Freeing of the Dust (1975), Life in the Forest (1978), and Candles in Babylon (1982). This new compilationbeginning where Denise Levertov's Poems 1968-1972 left offtestifies not only to Levertov's technical mastery, but also to her spiritual vision, especially in regard to the Vietnam War. Some of Levertov's best war poems, the result of her visit to North Vietnam in 1972, are contained in this marvelous collection. Poems 1972-1982 enables readers to observe a crucial phase in Levertov's poetic development. At the same time, it illuminates Robert Creeley's assessment that she "was a constantly defining presence in the world we shared, a remarkable and transforming poet for all of us."
The Letters of Denise Levertov and William Carlos Williams is the most engaging and lively of literary correspondences - at once a portrait of two geniuses, the testimony of their remarkable friendship, and a seedbed of ideas about American poetry. With a 1951 fan letter, the young British poet introduced herself to Williams, and by 1959, Williams is congratulating Levertov on her growth. The letters also chronicle their search (individually and together) for a set of formal poetic principles, a search which culminated for Levertov in 1965, when she coined the term "organic form". The warmth, the directness, the flavorsome individuality of the letters - 34 from Levertov and 42 from Williams - increased with their growing intimacy and mutual regard. Always intriguing, their independent-minded letters, which end with the elder poet's death in 1962, have great piquancy and charm. Denise Levertov herself initiated this project, and was then, in the year before her death, "fascinated to read the exchange". This edition also includes the correspondence between Levertov and Williams's widow Florence. Professor Christopher MacGowan, the noted Williams scholar, contributes a superb introduction and informative annotations throughout.
Conceived as a convenience to those readers concerned with doubt and faith, Denise Levertov's 34 selected poems originally were published in seven separate volumes. The earliest dates from 1978, and the group together more or less traces Levertov's slow movement from agnosticism to Christian faith.