Paul Constant on LitHub “Denise Levertov Should Be More Famous: How Do You Immortalize a WIllfully Uncategorizable Poet?”

“And I walked naked

from the beginning

breathing in

my life,

breathing out


arrogant in innocence.”

            –from “A Cloak

Read this piece by Paul Constant NOW.

Constant compares Levertov’s poem “Zest” to death metal, which fills me with such joy. He writes, “with her precision and her enthusiasm, she’s drawing you close with her confessions and as you lean in to hear those whispered truths, you realize that she’s gently turning your body until you’re both staring in the same direction.”

Levertov’s “confessional” poetry also engaged with the political and moral landscape. “Levertov argued with Duncan and with anyone who claimed that poets should not be giving speeches at protests; her outrage was an inextricable part of her humanity, so why should she deny it?”

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