This chapter considers the legacy of Denise Levertov. Levertov wanted to be remembered for her poetry, the “autonomous structures” that would be appreciated on their own terms and would last. In comparison to her art, she considered her life fleeting and insignificant. As a consequence she was suspicious of biography and insisted that if a poet's biography were to be written, it had to focus on the work itself. Even then she was leery of the genre and recoiled from it. Nonetheless, she claimed repeatedly that her poems emerged from her life experience. While she rejected confessional or self-referential writing, her poems, “testimonies of lived life,” reflect her dialogical engagement with the world around her.
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