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Denise Levertov

(24 October 1923 – 20 December 1997 / Ilford, Essex)

Quotations

  • ''The poem has a social effect of some kind whether or not the poet wills it to have. It has kinetic force, it sets in motion ... [ellipsis in source] elements in the reader that would otherwise be stagnant.''
    Denise Levertov (b. 1923), U.S. poet. As quoted in Against Forgetting, sect. 5, by Carolyn Forche (1993). Written in 1965, during the Vietnam War; Levertov was active in the movement opposing American involvement in that war.
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Making Peace

A voice from the dark called out,
"The poets must give us
imagination of peace, to oust the intense, familiar
imagination of disaster. Peace, not only
the absence of war."

But peace, like a poem,
is not there ahead of itself,
can't be imagined before it is made,

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