The poet Denise Levertov, raised in Britain, worked and lived in America through most of her career. Her poetry is notable for its social content, particularly feminism and themes of peace. In her later poems, she turned to religious themes.
Denise Levertov served in the 1960s as poetry editor of The Nation and in 1975-78 as poetry editor for Mother Jones magazine. Denise Levertov taught at Stanford University from 1982-1993.
Quotes by Denise
"Peace as a positive condition of society, not merely as an interim between wars, is something so unknown that it casts no images on the mind's screen."
" Know the ship you sail on. Know its timbers. Deep the fjord waters where you sail, steep the cliffs, deep into the unknown coast goes the winding fjord."
"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 . . . elements in the reader that would otherwise be stagnant."
"One of the obligations of the writer is to say or sing all that he or she can, to deal with as much of the world as becomes possible to him or her in language."
"In city, in suburb, in forest, no way to stretch out the arms -- so if you would grow, go straight up or deep down."
"But for us the road unfurls itself, we don't stop walking, we know there is far to go."
"You can live for years next door to a big pine tree, honored to have so venerable a neighbor, even when it sheds needles all over your flowers or wakes you, dropping big cones onto your deck at still of night."
"Every day, every day I hear enough to fill a year of nights with wondering."
(About her mother) "She was a pointer-outer. She pointed out clouds, and she pointed out flowers. She started one off looking at things...Very few people really see things unless they've had someone in early life who made them look at things. And name them too. But the looking is primary, the focus."