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Exotic Bird from Ilford

Robert Baird: Denise Levertov

24 September 2014
Denise Levertov: A Poet’s Life 
by Dana Greene.
Illinois, 328 pp., £22.99, October 2012, 978 0 252 03710 8
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A Poet’s Revolution: The Life of Denise Levertov 
by Donna Krolik Hollenberg.
California, 515 pp., £30.95, April 2013, 978 0 520 27246 0
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Collected Poems 
by Denise Levertov.
New Directions, 1063 pp., £32.99, December 2013, 978 0 8112 2173 3
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... poets, the neo-Romantic Surrealists who had decided, in the words of G.S. Fraser, ‘to become stoics – to depend on ourselves and the universe’ after everything else was destroyed by the war. DanaGreene isn’t wrong when she says that Levertov’s early poems possess more biographical than poetic interest. But her first collection, The Double Image, which appeared in 1946, earned an ...

Poetry to Thrill an Oyster

Gregory Woods: Fitz-Greene​ Halleck

16 November 2000
The American Byron: Homosexuality and the Fall of Fitz-Greene​ Halleck 
by John W.M. Hallock.
Wisconsin, 226 pp., £14.95, April 2000, 0 299 16804 2
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... When the American poet Fitz-Greene Halleck (1790-1867) travelled to Europe in 1822 he was carrying letters of introduction to Byron, Scott, Southey, Wordsworth, Lafayette and Talleyrand, though he never actually met any of them – ...

Boys and Girls

Andrew O’Hagan: With the Child Jihadis

8 August 2013
... life if possible.’ These kids might disappear at 12 and come back at 15 fully militarised and conscious of their own bodies as weapons. I went with Dr Aria to their counselling centre at Deh Dana in District Seven. It was a low building with two classrooms on either side of a hot porch. A dozen boys were sitting cross-legged on a large red Afghan rug. The youngest was ten. There were mottoes ...

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