'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
When Denise Levertov was a 12-year-old British girl in 1936, she was already so much a poet that she had the chutzpah to send some of her poems to the august T.S. Eliot. Her sensitive and intuitive biographer, Dana Greene, has seen a copy of his response and thinks that Levertov overstated it. But it was encouraging enough for the neophyte, and there can be no overstating its significance for her.
He's not much known in this country, but across the Atlantic, Dannie Abse is a recognized and highly regarded poet, a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and honored by Queen Elizabeth with the prestigious CBE. This decoration, just below knight in rank, is often an indication that a knighthood awaits down the road. Since Dr. Abse will turn 90 next year, let us hope that Her Majesty does not wait too long before bestowing this title.
Once upon a time, there were a lot of Americans in Paris. We liked them and they - well, most of them - liked us. And one of us the French liked very much was an enterprising young woman named Sylvia Beach who, in 1919, opened a bookstore on the Left Bank and called it Shakespeare & Company.