Light Up the Cave
Fiction by Denise Levertov
Light Up the Cave is the poet Denise Levertov’s second book of prose. Like her first, The Poet in the World (1973), it includes fiction, essays, and articles, and addresses a wide range of concerns, both public and private. The collection is divided into six parts, opening with three short stories. The second section, “The Nature of Poetry,” contains pieces about craft, with particular focus on the musical function of the line, as well as the ethical implications of poetry. In the third and fourth sections (“Poetry and Politics” and “Political Commentary”) Levertov discusses the relationship of poets to politics and adds some of her own political statements. Recollections of Robert Duncan, the late Muriel Rukeyser, and Herbert Read, as well as of Levertov’s early years and her adventurous Welsh mother, make up section five. The collection concludes with the poet’s appreciations of the work of several other writers, from Anton Chekhov to Hilda Morley.