Levertov, Denise

born Oct. 24, 1923, Ilford, Essex, Eng.
died Dec. 20, 1997, Seattle, Wash., U.S.

English-born U.S. poet, essayist, and political activist.

Levertov became a civilian nurse during World War II. She married an American writer after the war and moved to the U.S., where she was associated with the Black Mountain group, which included the poets Charles Olson and Robert Duncan. Influenced by the deliberate simplicity of William Carlos Williams's poetry, she wrote deceptively matter-of-fact verse on both personal and political themes. Among her poetry collections are Here and Now (1957), The Sorrow Dance (1967), and The Freeing of the Dust (1975).

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▪ American poet
born October 24, 1923, Ilford, Essex [now in Greater London], England
died December 20, 1997, Seattle, Washington, U.S.

      English-born American poet, essayist, and political activist who wrote deceptively matter-of-fact verse on both personal and political themes.

      Levertov's father was an immigrant Russian Jew who converted to Christianity, married a Welsh woman, and became an Anglican clergyman. Educated entirely at home, Levertov became a civilian nurse during World War II, serving in London throughout the bombings. Her first volume of verse, The Double Image (1946), was not very successful. She married the American writer Mitchell Goodman in 1947, moved with him to the United States in 1948, and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1955.

      Early in her career, Levertov became associated with the poets of the Black Mountain school, and she credited the spare, clear, objective work of the poet William Carlos Williams (Williams, William Carlos) with being the greatest influence on the development of her style. She tended to avoid the use of metaphor and allusion, preferring instead the direct and immediate description of objects, perceptions, and feelings in the rhythms of ordinary speech.

      Levertov's first important poetry collection, Here and Now (1957), was followed by Overland to the Islands (1958), With Eyes at the Back of Our Heads (1959), and several others. She opposed American involvement in the Vietnam War and was active in the War Resisters League, for whom she edited the collection Out of the War Shadow (1967). One of her finest volumes of poems, The Sorrow Dance (1967), reflects her opposition to the war, while The Freeing of the Dust (1975) alternates antiwar poems with confessional poems about her personal life. Her subsequent volumes show a sympathy with Third World cultures and an involvement with feminism.

      Levertov's later efforts include essays and prose, as in The Poet in the World (1973), and the verse collections Candles in Babylon (1982) and Breathing the Water (1987). She taught at Stanford University from 1981 to 1994.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • LEVERTOV, DENISE — (1923–1997), U.S./British poet and essayist. Levertov was born in England of Russian Jewish and Welsh parents, and her life and writings reflect her paradoxical nature. She was greatly influenced by her Russian born expatriate father, Paul… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Levertov, Denise — (24 oct. 1923, Ilford, Essex, Inglaterra–20 dic. 1997, Seattle, Wash., EE.UU.). Poetisa, ensayista y activista política estadounidense nacida en Inglaterra. Levertov fue enfermera civil durante la segunda guerra mundial. Después de la guerra se… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Levertov, Denise —    см. Левертов, Дениза …   Писатели США. Краткие творческие биографии

  • Denise Levertov — Born October 24, 1923 Ilford, United Kingdom Died December 20, 1997(1997 12 20) (aged 74) Seattle, Washington …   Wikipedia

  • Denise Levertov — Nacimiento 24 de octubre de 1923 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Denise (given name) — Denise Pronunciation English: /dɨˈniːs/ də nees or /dɨˈniːz/ də neez Gender …   Wikipedia

  • Levertov —   [ levətɔf], Denise, amerikanische Lyrikerin britischer Herkunft, * Ilford (County Essex) 24. 10. 1923, ✝ Seattle (Washington) 20. 12. 1997; wanderte 1948 in die USA aus, war seit 1982 Professor für englische Literatur an der Stanford University …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Levertov — /lev euhr tawf , tof /, n. Denise, 1923 97, U.S. poet, born in England. * * * …   Universalium

  • Levertov — Lev•er•tov [[t]ˈlɛv ərˌtɔf, ˌtɒf[/t]] n. big Denise, 1923–97, U.S. poet, born in England …   From formal English to slang

  • Levertov — /lev euhr tawf , tof /, n. Denise, 1923 97, U.S. poet, born in England …   Useful english dictionary

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