Levertov, Denise

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Levertov, Denise Gender: F
Priscilla Denise Levertoff
born on 24 October 1923 at 09:00 (= 09:00 AM )
Place Ilford, England, 51n33, 0e05
Timezone GMT h0e (is standard time)
Data source
Rodden Rating B
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 29°55' s_mo.18.gif s_aricol.18.gif 25°39 Asc.s_scocol.18.gif 23°53'

Denise Levertov
photo: taken by Elsa Dorfman on Flagg St, Cambridge, MA, license gfdl


British-American writer, a major contemporary poet with works that began to appear in journals early in WW II. She is a highly respected poet for her publications in "Poetry London" and "Poetry Quarterly." Her first book was published in 1946.

Denise Levertov was the daughter of Paul Levertoff, a Jewish scholar who converted to Christianity and became an Anglican priest. Her mother, Beatrice Adelaide (Spooner-Jones) Levertoff was Welsh, and a descendant of Welsh mystic (and tailor) Angel Jones.

Denise never attended school. She was educated by her mother at home until the age of about 13. She said of her early years, "As I did not go to school (ever, at all) I had time and solitude to begin working in poetry at an early age." From her mother she received her love of Nature and her ability to read aloud well. Her sister, Olga (1914-1964) introduced her to modern poetry, the Impressionists, theater, and many other things.

During her teens, Denise tried to become a ballet dancer, then a painter. Later she became a hospital nurse in training. But always she was a poet. Her first book, "Double Image," was published in 1946.

Her verse began to appear in Poetry London and Poetry Quarterly early in World War II. Her poetry could be compared to the earliest poems of Rilke or the more melancholy songs of Brahms. Several awards followed in fast succession: The Bess Hokin Prize, 1959, the Longview Award, 1961, a Guggenheim Fellowship, 1962 and an award from the American Institute of Arts and Letters, 1965. Other books included "Here and Now," 1957, "Overland to the Islands, 1958 and "With Eyes in the Back of Our Heads," 1959. "The Sorrow Dance," 1967 and subsequent volumes reflected her strong feelings against the Viet Nam war.

Levertov met her husband, Mitch Goodman, a young American who was just beginning to write, while hitch-hiking with a friend in Switzerland in 1948. They were married soon after and immigrated to the U.S. where son Nikolai was born in 1949. In 1955 she became an American citizen. She says of her religion, it is "roughly describable as a tentative syncretism." "In politics I am a pacifist…"

She died of complications from lymphoma in Seattle, Washingon on 20 December 1997.

Link to Wikipedia biography



  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1946 (First book published)
  • Family : Change in family responsibilities 1949 (Son Nikolai born)
  • Social : Joined group 1955 (Became a U.S. citizen)
  • Death by Disease 20 December 1997 in Seattle (Complications from lymphoma, age 74)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

LMR quotes her in "World Authors," 1950-70, where she writes, "I was born at 9:00 AM., October 24, 1923, in Ilford, Essex, England, a London suburb. Astrologers may draw their own conclusions."

Sy Scholfield quotes 9:15 A.M. from "A Poet's Revolution: The Life of Denise Levertov" by Donna Hollenberg (University of California, 2013), p. 10: "Priscilla Denise Levertoff was born at 9:15 A.M. on October 24, 1923, at 24 Lenox Gardens, in the town of Ilford, Essex."


  • Traits : Mind : Education limited (Home tutored)
  • Lifestyle : Home : Expatriate (Moved to U.S.)
  • Vocation : Politics : Activist/ political (Pacifist)
  • Vocation : Writers : Fiction
  • Vocation : Writers : Poet
  • Notable : Book Collection : Culture Collection