Denise Levertov reads Six of Her Poems
Denise Levertov reads six poems from her later collections, three from EVENING TRAIN (1992) and three later included in her posthumously published collection SANDS OF THE WELL (1998). This is an extract from an hour-long reading she gave for the Lannan Foundation in Los Angeles on 7 December 1993. The poems are: 'Settling', 'Open Secret', 'Tragic Error', 'The Danger Moment', 'A Gift' and 'For Those Whom the Gods Love Less', three of which were also included in her SELECTED POEMS (New Directions, 2002), which was published in Britain as NEW SELECTED POEMS (Bloodaxe Books, 2003):
Denise Levertov (1923-97) was born in Essex, and educated at home by her father, a Russian Jewish immigrant, who became an Anglican priest, and by her Welsh mother. In 1948, she emigrated to America, where she was acclaimed by Kenneth Rexroth in The New York Times as 'the most subtly skilful poet of her generation, the most profound, the most modest, the most moving,' and during the following decades she became 'a poet who may just be the finest writing in English today' (Kirkus Reviews). Throughout her life, she worked also as a political activist, campaigning tirelessly for civil rights and environmental causes, and against the Vietnam War, the Bomb and US-backed regimes in Latin America.
This video is copyright Lannan Foundation 1994 and posted on YouTube with the permission of the Lannan Foundation.