- Category : Writers-Fiction
- Type : GE
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Quadruple Split (10,11,12,16,20,23,26,55)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Laws 3
A major contemporary poet with works that began to appear in journals early in WW II. She is a highly respected poet for her publications in "Poetry London" and "Poetry Quarterly." Her first book was published in 1946.
Denise Levertov was the daughter of Paul Levertoff, a Jewish scholar who converted to Christianity and became an Anglican priest. Her mother, Beatrice Adelaide (Spooner-Jones) Levertoff was Welsh, and a descendant of Welsh mystic (and tailor) Angel Jones.
Denise never attended school. She was educated by her mother at home until the age of about 13. She said of her early years, "As I did not go to school (ever, at all) I had time and solitude to begin working in poetry at an early age." From her mother she received her love of Nature and her ability to read aloud well. Her sister, Olga (1914-1964) introduced her to modern poetry, the Impressionists, theater, and many other things.
During her teens, Denise tried to become a ballet dancer, then a painter. Later she became a hospital nurse in training. But always she was a poet. Her first book, "Double Image," was published in 1946.
Her verse began to appear in Poetry London and Poetry Quarterly early in World War II. Her poetry could be compared to the earliest poems of Rilke or the more melancholy songs of Brahms. Several awards followed in fast succession: The Bess Hokin Prize, 1959, the Longview Award, 1961, a Guggenheim Fellowship, 1962 and an award from the American Institute of Arts and Letters, 1965. Other books included "Here and Now," 1957, "Overland to the Islands, 1958 and "With Eyes in the Back of Our Heads," 1959. "The Sorrow Dance," 1967 and subsequent volumes reflected her strong feelings against the Viet Nam war.
Levertov met her husband, Mitch Goodman, a young American who was just beginning to write, while hitch-hiking with a friend in Switzerland in 1948. They were married soon after and immigrated to the U.S. where son Nikolai was born in 1949. In 1955 she became an American citizen. She says of her religion, it is "roughly describable as a tentative syncretism." "In politics I am a pacifist…"
She died of complications from lymphoma in Seattle, Washingon on 20 December 1997.