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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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“The Thread”

“The Thread”


(p.144) 8 “The Thread”
Denise Levertov

Dana Greene

University of Illinois Press

This chapter details the life and career of Denise Levertov from 1982 to 1984. “The Thread,” a poem of the 1960s, reflected Levertov's ongoing awareness of her vocation. In the early 1980s at age sixty, the tug was there again. In this case it was a silent ineluctable shift from the doubt that grounded her lifelong agnosticism toward a tentative religious faith. This resulted not from some dramatic conversion but from “faithful attention” to living out her vocation as a poet. Levertov came to religion tentatively, doubting, embarrassed. Occasionally, she would attend a religious service, something she had generally eschewed since adolescence. The gradual realignment of doubt and faith expressed itself in her poetry. In fact it was in the process of writing poetry that she first experienced this shift.

Keywords:   Denise Levertov, women poets, agnosticism, religious faith, The Thread, vocation, poetry

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