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As in her poetry, Levertov's descriptions and characterizations can be flawless; her ability to relate an incident is at once timeless and immediate, boundless and searingly personal. 'These tesserae have no pretensions,' Levertov notes. She is right--these lovely, lyrical remembrances are too true and spare ever to invite such criticism. 

Publishers Weekly

Tesserae, the small individual pieces of glass or stone that make up a mosaic, is an apt title for this series of memoirs by Denise Levertov. Rather than being a completed autobiography, these collected memoirs are, for the author, fragments of an unfinished mosaic. Each of the twenty-seven pieces of Tesserae explores a memory vital to Levertov’s life; each is complete in itself and set here chronologically. And, as in any good mosaic, each piece reflects at different angles creating a play of light which gives this self-portrait its living complexity. Tesserae offers for the first time the unique memoirs of "a poet who may just be the finest writing in English today." (Kirkus Reviews).


Poetry by Denise Levertov

published April 1st, 1996