Making Peace

Overview

Anti-war poems by Denise Levertov, a passionate advocate of peace and justice and one of the greatest American poets of the twentieth century.

Denise Levertov achieved recognition as a poet at a young age, winning the admiration of such older poets as T.S. Eliot and William Carlos Williams. Though she initially drew a line between her poetic works and her commitment to peace and justice, the Vietnam War inspired a change, and at the time of ...
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Overview

Anti-war poems by Denise Levertov, a passionate advocate of peace and justice and one of the greatest American poets of the twentieth century.

Denise Levertov achieved recognition as a poet at a young age, winning the admiration of such older poets as T.S. Eliot and William Carlos Williams. Though she initially drew a line between her poetic works and her commitment to peace and justice, the Vietnam War inspired a change, and at the time of her death in 1997, she was acclaimed not only for her poetry, but also for her political engagement. Making Peace collects Levertov's finest poems about war and peace, subjects which she addresses with passion and nuance. Spanning the last three decades of her life, their subjects range from Vietnam to the death-squads of El Salvador to the first Gulf War. Often brutally vivid—in "The Certainty" she writes, "war / means blood spilling from living bodies"—Levertov's poems always have at their core her love for humanity, even as she registers her horror at what humans do to one another.

Introduced by Levertov scholar Peggy Rosenthal, these poems mirror the destruction that we witness today, but they also hold within them, as Levertov writes, "a small grain of hope."
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Editorial Reviews

Rafael Campos
What Levertov proposes here is greatly reassuring. In narration and in our ability to listen, which she locates in closest proximity to that ongoing, innermost story told by our own heartbeats, we can attain the "grandeur" that is peace.
— The washington Post
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811216401
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 2/24/2006
  • Series: Bibelots Series
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 1,071,661
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 4.70 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Denise Levertov (1923-1997) was born in England. Her first book of poems was published in 1946, two years before she came to the U.S. For most of the rest of her life she lived in Somerville, Massachusetts and was closely identified with the Boston area, teaching part of the year at Brandeis and the other part at Stanford University in California. In 1992, she moved to Seattle, Washington. Levertov won the Elmer Holmes Bobst Award in poetry, the Lannan Prize, and the 1996 Governor's Writers Award from the Washington State Commission for the Humanities.
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Table of Contents

Life at war 3
What were they like? 5
Thinking about El Salvador 6
Land of death-squads 8
News report, September 1991 9
The cry 12
Age of terror 15
The news and a green moon, July 1994 17
Misnomer 19
The certainty 20
Candles in Babylon 23
The love of morning 24
The altars in the street 25
Protesters 27
Psalm : people power at the die-in 28
Dom Helder Camara at the nuclear test site 30
Vocation 33
Advent 1966 35
Perhaps no poem but all I can say and I cannot be silent 37
Witnessing from afar the new escalation of savage power 39
Where is the angel? 40
Immersion 42
Writing in the dark 43
From the image-flow - summer of 1986 47
City psalm 48
From During the Eichmann trial 49
For the new year, 1981 53
From An interim 54
From Staying alive 56
Making peace 58
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