Study Guide

What Were They Like? Tough-o-Meter

By Denise Levertov

Tough-o-Meter

(2) Sea Level

There aren't any tricks up Levertov's sleeve here; the poem was written in plain language, with images that don't require a dictionary to decode. But you may want to reach for the history books before writing it off entirely; putting the poem into the context of the Vietnam War adds to the richness of the words and the sadness of the poem's message.

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