THE POET IN THE WORLD by Denise Levertov


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This collection of writings on aesthetics, other poets, teaching, politics, and bits of ""fiction,"" has the same qualities of integrity and ""organicism"" that are at the heart of this writer's poetry. An heir to the Black Mountain tradition, whose poets (Duncan and Creeley, along with Williams), shape her major inspiration, she is serious about her life, her poetry and ideas in relation to her life. The most important belief is that good living (action in politics; also a connectedness to the surrounding world -- this including nature, people, art) is inextricably connected with good thinking which is inextricably connected with good writing; this infuses both her poetry and criticism, which has none of that deadly expository English 101 phony ""objective"" quality she decries, but is itself full of the voice of poetry, the ""organic form"" (found in experience itself) which is her poetic credo -- not that she is intolerant of artists who work in different ways. This is humanism in its true sense -- her attitude as evidenced (not described) by her writing is such that the reader cannot help but experience life, at least temporarily, with more intensity, joy, and imagination.

Pub Date: Nov. 16th, 1973
Publisher: New Directions