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A Study Guide for Denise Levertov's "A Tree Telling of Orpheus"

A Study Guide for Denise Levertov's "A Tree Telling of Orpheus"

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A Study Guide for Denise Levertov's "A Tree Telling of Orpheus"

Comprimento:
31 página
21 minutos
Lançado em:
Sep 2, 2016
ISBN:
9781535817431
Formato:
Livro

Descrição

A Study Guide for Denise Levertov's "A Tree Telling of Orpheus," excerpted from Gale's acclaimed Poetry for Students. This concise study guide includes plot summary; character analysis; author biography; study questions; historical context; suggestions for further reading; and much more. For any literature project, trust Poetry for Students for all of your research needs.
Lançado em:
Sep 2, 2016
ISBN:
9781535817431
Formato:
Livro

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A Study Guide for Denise Levertov's "A Tree Telling of Orpheus" - Gale

09

A Tree Telling of Orpheus

Denise Levertov

1968

Introduction

Denise Levertov's A Tree Telling of Orpheus was first published independently in 1968. It was included in her 1970 collection Relearning the Alphabet and also her 2002 Selected Poems. The poem deals with an ancient Greek myth according to which the Thracian magician Orpheus was able to enchant trees and make them walk. It is uniquely told as a first-person narrative by one of the trees he enchanted. While the poem features this particular motif, the whole range of Orphic mythology is alluded to.

The publication of A Tree Telling of Orpheus came at the height of the protest movement against the Vietnam War and other countervailing elements of the youth culture of the 1960s. Levertov was a leading figure in these movements, and some critics have taken the poem to relate to the sense of awakening inherent in the 1960s counterculture. However, many of the poem's themes look forward to Levertov's later development as a poet primarily interested in religion. This is true not only of the poem's surface material of mythology but also in regard to its many mystical ideas and its use of language derived from the spiritual traditions of Christianity and Judaism to which Levertov's ancestry connected her.

Author Biography

Denise Levertov was born on October 24, 1923, in Ilford, in the county of Essex in England. She descended on her father's side from Shneur Zalman, the founder of the mystical Chabad sect of Hasidic Judaism, and on her mother's from Angell Jones, a leading figure in the development of modern Welsh literature. Her father, Paul Levertoff, converted to Christianity and took a university degree in Germany before immigrating to England, where he became a priest in the Church of England

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