Denise Levertov

Denise Levertov (October 24, 1923 – December 20, 1997) was a British born American poet. Born in Ilford, Essex, England, her mother was Welsh, and her father was an Anglican parson who had immigrated from Germany, and had been raised a Hasidic Jew.

She was educated at home, had an early childhood enthusiasm for writing, and at the age of 12 sent some of her poetry to T. S. Eliot who replied with a two page letter of encouragement.

She served as a civilian nurse in London during the bombings of World War II.

Her first book of poetry, The Double Image, was published in 1946.

She married an American writer, Mitchell Goodman, in 1947, and moved to the United States in 1948, living primarily in New York City, and in Maine during the summer.

She published her first American book Here and Now in 1956, and with the publication of With Eyes at the Back of our Heads in 1959 she began to gain wide acclaim. She went on to publish many prize-winning volumes of poetry, become involved in anti-war movements, and for eleven years, from 1982 to 1993 taught at Stanford University.

She died on December 27, 1997 at the age of 74, from complications of lymphoma.

Poems by Denise Levertov