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The Selected Poems of Denise Levertov Hardcover – November 1, 2002

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation; First edition (November 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811215202
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811215206
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,172,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


A fresh reading of an important poet. -- Beloit Poetry Journal, Spring 2003

Levertov's gift for detail is matched by the way she can make yearnings and ideas seem almost physical, -- Village Voice Literary Supplement

Levertov's mastery...of contemporary poetic form, informed with a fierce, generous intelligence can be frightening. -- Ursula Le Guin, Washington Post

One of the most vitally innovative of contemporary poets. -- World Literature Today

Poems from nearly every collection of Levertov's oeuvre...a catalogue of the wildly diverse subjects that engaged her. -- Harvard Book Review, V. Joshua Adams, Spring 2003

Purely numinous and transcendent poetry....one of our best and most influential poets. -- Publishers Weekly

She was a constantly defining presence in the world we shared, a remarkable and transforming poet for all of us. -- Robert Creeley

The writing is always skillful and the themes of personal and political sustenance of universal appeal. -- Kliatt, Daniel Levinson, January 2004

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Paolo & Francesca on August 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Denise Levertov is among the very best of what I've encountered. There are many poets who can win attention by using a clever metaphor or speaking about things that have shock value. But levertov is restrained in these matters. She is plain, direct, subtle, but a genius of music, measure, and lyric intensity. Her poetry carries the art to another level. Hers is the kind of poetry that cannot be translated into another language because it so efficiently and masterfully uses the material of the English language. Every word is crucial, with not a syllable extra. The effect is powerful,ecstatic, unforgettable.
Levertov stands out not only as one of the greatest modern poets, but also as penetrating mystic and spiritual thinker. Denise Levertov lived during one of the most violent times in history, from World War I to the Vietnam War. She was a prominent anti war and environmental activist, and in her poetry we feel her sense of injustice at these ills. Yet despite all of these things, she celebrates the world and existence, and sees human beings as courageous beings despite their penchant for destruction. She speaks often of the physical, of joy being present here and now, the need to engage our senses, and of being open to mystery and beauty. Her exceptional intelligence, wisdom, and compassion combined with her poetic mastery makes her truly a diamond in a sea of lesser jewels.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By JNagarya on March 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Lacey's bias is such that his selection results in an overemphasis on religion, religion, religion, and more religion. One would have hoped that New Directions would have chosen someone who could actually embrace, in equal measure, Levertov's entire range -- which was not so narrowly confined to religion, religion, religion, and more religion. (The Duncan-Levertov letters suffer the same bias from Albert Gelpi.)

What is it about the "securely" religious that they must infect everything they touch with their private, personal preference?

A better choice would probably have been Robert Creeley, who was at least able to transcend that narrow straightjacketing myopia.
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