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Unformatted text preview: Chief Works Levertov introduces her forebears in "Illustrious Ancestors" (1958). The Hasidic grandfather, the rabbi from "Northern White Russia," learns the "language of birds" from nature-centered concentration during his devotions. Similarly pragmatic, a Welsh grandfather, "Angel Jones of Mold," incorporates his mysticism in the real world by stitching his thoughts into his garments. At the poem's conclusion, the poet begins with "Well" her inclusion of birds, hard data, and the tailor's needle in her life's work. In silence, she contemplates the thin-air quality of internalized stimuli. Composed four years after Levertov's divorce, "A Woman Alone" (1978) delights in "blessed Solitude," the reward to an aging woman lost in a paradox of "sober euphoria." Stepping over breezy enjambments from a memory of passion to an involved late-night conversation that prefaces...
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- Fall '08