Collected Earlier Poems 1940-1960
Poetry by Denise Levertov
Denise Levertov’s Collected Earlier Poems 1940-1960 brings under one cover the first published works of a poet who, though born and raised in Great Britain, has long held a distinctive place in postwar American letters. Initiating a major literary undertaking, the volume includes a group of hitherto ungathered poems, selections from Ms. Levertov’s earliest book, The Double Image (1946), published in London, and her three following collections in their entirety: Here and Now (1957), Overland to the Islands (1958), and With Eyes at the Back of Our Heads (1960). Living in the United States since the late 1940s, Ms. Levertov has often been associated with the Black Mountain poets, while from the mid- 1960s onward she has been one of the foremost activists in the antiwar and anti-nuclear movements. Yet even in her more “political” poems, her dominant perception has continued to be of the intricate beauty, the mystery of life as it is lived. In announcing Ms. Levertov the winner of the 1975 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, Hayden Carruth said of her: “For twenty-five years Denise Levertov has been one of our most prominent poets… Today she is a woman at the crest of her maturity, acute in perceptions, wise in responses, and an artist, moreover, whose technique has kept pace with her personal development.” With Collected Earlier Poems 1940-1960, readers have the opportunity of following Ms. Levertov’s remarkable poetic development from its very beginnings.