A Door in the Hive

Denise Levertov, Author
Denise Levertov, Author New Directions Publishing Corporation $16.95 (113p) ISBN 978-0-8112-1118-5
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Levertov ( Breathing the Water ) displays a newly impressive range in her 19th collection. The rough-hewn jewel of the book is the long poem ``El Salvador: Requiem and Invocation,'' stylized with lines as stark, staccato and dramatically moving as the brutalizing subject. In a world-weary mood, the poet addresses issues of human self-destruction and our rapacious consumption of the earth, musing in ``Kin and Kin,'' ``Perhaps Jeffers was right, our species / best unborn, and once born / better soon gone, a criminal kind, / the planet's nightmare.'' Yet she rises above despair in rapturous paeans to mountains and to clouds: in ``Flying High'': ``lc is correct/pk here a frank exposition, suds you could wash your clothes in, / there an abstract brocade that loops and swivels / in rivers of air.'' Levertov's meditative bent and musical lines may be best observed in poems about divine mysteries--the Annunciation, Calvary's Path, the Harrowing of Hell.are these all poem titles? if so, in quotes./ok as is/pk If some poems seem gs slight, lovely exercises, most are superbly conceived and accomplished. (Nov.)
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