David Geier (born 1955) Gelatin silver print, 1983
Born in England, Denise Levertov became a major American poet, noted for her impassioned commitment to poetry that served political and humanitarian causes. Her background was multinational and multiethnic, and she was ever-conscious of her sense of having a universal identity on which to base her appeals against injustice.
At first, her writing showed the influence of T. S. Eliot, and she wrote in the tradition of midcentury English modernism, with attention to formal structure. In America (she immigrated in 1947), her poetry got more fluid when she became part of the avant-garde Black Mountain School. She published consistently but came into her own in the 1960s and 1970s, when she became a poetic voice for civil rights and against the Vietnam War.
I like to find what’s not found at once, but lies within something of another nature, in repose, distinct. Denise Levertov From “Pleasures”, 1959