Denise Levertov

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

Denise Levertov Quotes

  • ''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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Intrusion

After I had cut off my hands
and grown new ones

something my former hands had longed for
came and asked to be rocked.

After my plucked out eyes
had withered, and new ones grown

something my former eyes had wept for
came asking to be pitied.

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