Review: On “The Collected Poems of Denise Levertov”

Denise LevertovThe arrival of an author’s Collected Poems sometimes amounts to little more than an academic curiosity. Scholars and critics sift through the treasure for hidden secrets or clues: here, an allusion to the messy divorce; there, corroborating evidence of depression; and over here, some juvenilia with homoerotic symbolism.  Usually, only lifelong fans and librarians bother to purchase such books, which end up as collector’s items shelved alongside prize-winning gems.  And maybe this is how it should be. With so much new poetry published each year, why should anyone bother with the tossed-off efforts of a long-dead poet?

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