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Denise LevertovA Poet's Life$
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Dana Greene

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037108

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037108.001.0001

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In Search of Voice

In Search of Voice


(p.26) 2 In Search of Voice
Denise Levertov

Dana Greene

University of Illinois Press

This chapter details events in Denise Levertov's life after she set sail for Holland in January 1947, to work as an au pair. Levertov was barely twenty-three when she left England presumably for adventure, but in doing so she also escaped. She had no suspicion that by the year's end her life would change irrevocably. Her hastily arranged job as an au pair was seemingly a means to an end—the opportunity to travel. But the adventure began inauspiciously. Holland was cold, damp, and ravaged by war. She did not like the food or the Dutch, whom she considered tactless and dull. She left Holland for Paris in March and later on moved to Geneva where she met a Russian-American from Harvard, Mitchell Ira Goodman. Denise and Mitch married on December 2, 1947. In October 1948 the couple boarded an army ship for New York City. At age twenty-five Denise was finally on her way to America, and her joy was double in that she knew she was pregnant.

Keywords:   Denise Levertov, women poets, au pair, Holland, Mitchell Ira Goodman

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