Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
A Poet's Revolution: The Life of Denise Levertov Hardcover – April 17, 2013
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From the Inside Flap
"[Hollenberg's] account of the evolution of Levertov’s revolution,’ the path of her poetic and political pilgrimage,’ is informed and thorough, sympathetic but balanced. This is a book that fills a real need and will be a benchmark in our understanding of this poet and her place in American letters."Albert Gelpi, Coe Professor of American Literature, emeritus, Stanford University
"This deeply researched and beautifully written biography provides a fascinating portrait of a major poet and her worlds. The book is indispensable for anyone interested in postwar American poetry in the Pound-Williams line. But Levertov's story is not only about the growth of a poet's mind. We follow her through the drama of twentieth century history and cultural change as she calls us not only to 'taste and see' but to protest and revolt."Bonnie Costello, author of Planets on Tables: Poetry, Still Life and the Turning World
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
After reading a glowing review of this book by Richard Wakefield in the Seattle Times, I was anxious to read it. I was disappointed. True, Levertov's poems are treated fulsomely, as they should be, but the book quickly degenerates into an expanded book list of the "she lived here, and wrote that; moved there and wrote this" variety. There are huge paragraphs of name-dropping of other contemporary poets, but ultimately Levertov the woman remains a grey and shadowy figure.
The events of her life -- the stuff of legend and with enough scope for several novels -- is related in a bland, colorless way. Of the 14 photos in the book, only four are of Levertov -- and one of those shows her as a child of 18 months! On page 161, a friend is quoted as saying she had a wonderful sense of humor, but we are never shown any examples of this. Her relationship with her only son was troubled and her marriage ended in divorce, but the reasons are only hinted at.
The first half of the book uses virtually no quotes from the many letters, diaries, and interviews the author consulted, which makes the reading very heavy going. This situation does improve -- a bit -- in the latter third of the book, but ultimately I came away frustrated at how much seemed to have been glossed over. Whether this was a choice on the part of the biographer, or whether the heavy hand of familial censorship was at work in attempting to protect Levertov's posthumous privacy, the result was ultimately unsatisfying.
As a poet who was considered for Poet Laureate of the USA, Levertov is someone I would have liked to know better. Pity we weren't allowed to.
Also, the book was purchased through one of Amazon's suppliers, but the copy I received (which was sold as new) was clearly (and permanently stamped) "Review copy only -- not for resale!" A bit annoying as I'd planned to give the book to a friend. And of course now I can't do that. I can't even sell the wretched thing back to a used book store because of the stamp on the cut pages! I thought this sort of thing was illegal? But apparently not.