Denise Levertov on the Role of the Poet
Posted onMay 05 2016
In this document from the archive, Denise Levertov edits her statement for Donald Allen’s anthology, the seminal work The New American Poetry: 1945–1960, widely known as one of the first collections of counter-cultural, avant-garde American poetry.
Allen’s anthology brought to mainstream attention the works of many poets who are now known as part of the canon of American poetry: John Ashbery, Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Frank O’Hara, Gary Snyder, and, of course, Levertov.
In her statement, Levertov declares, “I believe poets are instruments on which the power of poetry plays,” and goes on to discuss craft and the role of the poet in reacting to the "horrors" of the world.