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Denise Levertov

Tesserae: Memories & Suppositions ***

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Tesserae, the small individual pieces of glass or stone that make up a mosaic, is an apt title for this series of memoirs by Denise Levertov. Rather than a completed autobiography, these collected memoirs are, for the author, fragments composed from time to time between poems. Each of the twenty-seven pieces of Tesserae explores a memory vital to Levertov's life; each is complete in itself and set here chronologically. And, as in any good mosaic, every piece reflects light at different angles, giving this self-portrait its living complexity. Tesserae differs for the first time the unique memoirs or a poet who may just be the finest writing in English today ( Kirkus Reviews ).