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These beautiful poems range from good to staggering. This is the work that made her famous for her poems about the Vietnam War, which are certainly important and moving poems. But for me I found the real power of Levertov as a poet in the collection's smaller, more personal poems, dense with shadowy lyricism and pulsing with intimacy.
Denise Levertov was born in Ilford, Essex, England. Her mother, Beatrice Spooner-Jones Levertoff, was Welsh. Her father, Paul Levertoff, immigrated to England from Germany, was a Russian Hassidic Jew who, after converting to Christianity, became an Anglican parson. At the age of 12, she sent some of her poems to T. S. Eliot, who replied with a two-page letter of encouragement. In 1940, when she ...moreMore about Denise Levertov...