20 December 1997 Passing of Denise Levertov, Paul Levertoff’s poetess daughter

On This Day In Messianic Jewish History


Denise Levertov (24 October 1923 – 20 December 1997) was one of the most acclaimed American poets of the 20th century

She was born and grew up in Ilford, Essex, a suburb to which Jewish immigrants from Russia and Poland moved after arriving in the East End of London. Her father, Paul Levertoff, had been a teacher at Leipzig University and as a Russian Hassidic Jew was held under house arrest during the First World War as an ‘enemy alien’ by virtue of his ethnicity. He became a believer in Yeshua in 1895 and moved to England, where he became an Anglican priest and pioneering Hebrew Christian, translator of the Zohar, and writer. Her mother, Beatrice Adelaide (née Spooner-Jones) Levertoff, came from a small mining village in North Wales.

Denise wrote, “My father’s Hasidic ancestry, his being steeped in Jewish and Christian scholarship and mysticism, his fervour and…

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