New Selected Poems

New Selected Poems

by Philip Levine

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Overview

LIGHTS I HAVE SEEN BEFORE 

The children are off somewhere
and when I waken
I hear only
the buzz of current
in the TV
and the refrigerator 

groaning against the coming
day. I rise and wash;
there is nothing
to think of except
the insistent push
of water, and the pipe's

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307761415
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/07/2011
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

PHILIP LEVINE was born in 1928 in Detroit and was formally educated there, at the public schools and at Wayne University (now Wayne State University). After a succession of industrial jobs he left the city for good and lived in various parts of the country before settling in Fresno, California, where he taught at the University until his retirement. He has received many awards for his books of poems, including the National Book Award in 1991 for What Work Is, and the Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for The Simple Truth.

Hometown:

Fresno, California

Date of Birth:

January 10, 1928

Place of Birth:

Detroit, Michigan

Education:

B.A., Wayne State University; M.F.A., Iowa Writers Workshop, University of Iowa

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New Selected Poems 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
jillreno More than 1 year ago
A great among the many!
JFBallenger on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I came to this collection completely unfamiliar with Levine's work, but intrigued by his reputation as the contemporary poet who best captures the experience of the American working class. After reading this volume, I think the reputation is well-deserved. I've never read anything that better captured the numbing heartbreak of being stuck in work that is beyond the ability of any individual to control and make meaningful, and the stubborn resolve to somehow find real beauty and meaning in life. I found myself thinking of this as a poetic explication of Camus's depiction of the redemptive absurdity of modern man in the Myth of Sisyphus. That said, it took me a while to warm up to these poems. As with most such collections, the poems are arranged in chronological order grouped according to the books they originally appeared in. My method of reading a book of poetry is to go through the book from beginning to end, dogearing pages with poems or passages that I found particularly effective and know I will want to re-visit. The first 120 pages are virtually uncreased, and it took me literally months of on-again off-again reading to get through them. But beginning with the poems gathered from The Names of the Lost virtually every page is dog-eared, sometimes top and bottom. Every poem seemed to open up a breathtaking world of heartbreak, endurance and occasional redemption. I don't know whether this is because his later poems are dramatically different in quality, or if his vision just clicked for me at that point. But I look forward to going back in this collection to find out, and reading the work that Levine has published since this came out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago