By Donna Hollenberg
This primary full-length biography of Anglo- American poet and activist Denise Levertov (1923-1997) brings to lifestyles one of many significant voices of the second one half the 20 th century, whilst American poetry used to be a robust effect around the globe. Drawing on exhaustive archival study and interviews with seventy five neighbors of Levertov, in addition to on Levertov’s whole opus, Donna Krolik Hollenberg’s authoritative biography captures the complete complexity of Levertov as either girl and artist, and the dynamic international she inhabited. She charts Levertov’s youth in England because the daughter of a Russian Hasidic father and a Welsh mom, her adventure as a nurse in London in the course of WWII, her marriage to an American after the conflict, and her movement to long island urban the place she grew to become an incredible determine within the American poetry scene. the writer chronicles Levertov’s function as a passionate social activist in risky occasions and her significance as a instructor of writing. eventually, Hollenberg exhibits how the non secular size of Levertov’s poetry deepened towards the tip of her lifestyles, in order that her ultimate volumes hyperlink lyric notion with political and spiritual dedication.
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Additional resources for A Poet's Revolution: The Life of Denise Levertov
On May 22, 1914, when Olga Tatjana was born, their lives brightened. As Paul put it, writing in Beatrice’s diary shortly after she gave birth: “Bubele Olga has come! Baby is a little darling and mother is a big one. ” As was customary for people in their social position, the Levertoffs had domestic help—in this case, two maids, country girls called Big Martha and Little Martha. Both were caring, but Big Martha was especially so, and she became Beatrice’s best friend in these years. Although a general declaration of war did not occur until August, after the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian archduke Franz Ferdinand, on June 28, 1914, the political situation in central Europe was becoming very unstable.
As a child, Denise slept in her mother’s bedroom. When Beatrice read aloud to her before bedtime, Denise would squeal appreciatively at a particularly well-turned phrase. She loved both the family kitten, whom she sang to, and her little dog, Gamzu, a Mischling (mixed-blood) terrier pup acquired when Denise was four. In fact, Denise identified with her puppy and encouraged him to be mischievous. She began growling at family members with whom she was angry. ) An attractive woman herself, Beatrice made beautiful clothes for her little daughter—pinafores in summer and an amethyst, velvet party outfit trimmed in fur for winter—and Denise liked to dress up in Olga’s hat, climbing on her tiptoes to admire herself in the mirror.
When Beatrice was ten, her stepmother died and she and her father went to live in an apartment above his office in nearby Methyr, where his coachman’s wife cooked for them and looked after Beatrice. When Beatrice was twelve, her father—still in his early thirties—passed away, another stunning blow. Now an orphan, Beatrice was taken to live in Holywell, Flintshire, where her maternal aunt Elisabeth (Bess) was the wife of a Congregational minister, the Reverend David Oliver. ” Holywell was a big change for Beatrice: “Neglect and freedom were replaced by strict care and many duties, in a household from which most of the older children had gone .
A Poet's Revolution: The Life of Denise Levertov by Donna Hollenberg