Abstract

Abstract:

This article examines the practice of attention as a subject of Denise Levertov’s poetry, one that emerges fully only after her commitment to Christianity and its convictions of immanent, incarnate transcendence. Simone Weil fluidly and precisely describes this practice and the receptive consent to the subject that accompanies it in her response to stark contemporary circumstances earlier in the century. I explore Levertovs exemplification of this practice in Weiľs terms, arguing that Levertovs hesitant and late-arriving Catholicism, like Weiľs own devotional experience, underwrites the responsorial practice of attention. It operates for Levertov as both a poetic method and as a response to contemporary questions of poetics and language, producing a poetics that privileges the possibility of knowing as love and speaking as prayer.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2056-5666
Print ISSN
0148-3331
Pages
pp. 369-392
Launched on MUSE
2020-02-04
Open Access
No
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