Thursday, March 18, 2010

What Work Is by Philip Levine

Everyone knows the title poem in this collection. It's a great poem. I decided to read this after hearing this poem read by Levine on Poetry Magazine's website. It reminded me that I should read some more of his poems.

It is hard to write a review of someone as prominent and well-liked as Levine, especially when it is the old work that made them famous, and especially when you think that he's great too. We pretty much all agree: he's wonderful. He sculpted Contemporary American Poetry.

The only things I can say otherwise is I should have read this book when I was feeling a little less tired/run down. It made me feel more beat-down by the world. I also kind of missed having some stanza breaks in the poems. Levine hardly has any, which I think suits the poems' tiring subject matter. The book was exhausting.

My favorite poems in the book:

What Work Is (of course!)

M. Degas Teaches Art And Science At Durfee Intermediate School

My Grave (Try to ignore the person's notes. I couldn't find it elsewhere online. Sorry!)

Facts (at the end of their blog post)


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