Reading and Returning to Denise Levertov
A Poet's Revolution: The Life of Denise Levertov
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/03/2016
Year Published: 2016
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21366
Book review of Donna Hollenberg's A Poet's Revolution: The Life of Denise Levertov.
A Poet's Revolution is the fullest account to date of key movements in Levertov's life and art: her development as a poet from World War II to the Vietnam War to the political conflicts of the 1980s and 1990s. Hollenberg deftly moves between biographical and historical context and detailed close reading, refracting Levertov's vast body of work (her Collected Poems spans six decades of work and is over nine hundred pages long) through personal, political and spiritual concerns.
While a key contribution of A Poet's Revolution is its total account of Levertov's political commitments, bridging in many ways the Old and New Left as well as political movements in England and the United States, Hollenberg's chapters on Levertov's commitments to the social justice movements of the 1960s and 1970s, including New Left student movements, the anti-war movement and anti-racist movements, stand out as particularly important.