Sands of the Well

Denise Levertov, Author New Directions Publishing Corporation $10.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8112-1316-5
In her 21st collection, septuagenarian Levertov (Evening Train; Oblique Prayers) continues to find God in the natural world and in ""human passions, cruelties, dreams, concepts, crimes, and the exercise of virtue."" Nature, however, is what puts all of the latter in perspective and allows us to realize the divine. At their best, these poems, in the imagist tradition, transport a reader into the rendered scenes, the lines becoming like ""oarstrokes over/ the waveless, dark,/ secretive water."" While the last of the eight sections, ""Close to a Lake,"" offers a heady brew of old and new testament faith, it is Levertov's more searching, personal reflections that ring truest: ""...I lay low, evasive,/ imagining mortal weariness it's not yet time for."" One feels, throughout, that the spirituality is in our own hands: ""...when you seem to yourself/ nothing but a flimsy web/ of questions, you are given/ the questions of others to hold/ in the emptiness of your hands,/ songbird eggs that can still hatch/ if you keep them warm..../ You are given the questions of others/ as if they were answers/ to all you ask."" (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
Show other formats
Paperback - 136 pages - 978-0-8112-1361-5
Paperback - 144 pages - 978-1-85224-433-0
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.