Thursday, August 25, 2011

All Hail The New Poet Laureate

Available from Amazon
In case you haven't heard, the United States of America has a new Poet Laureate, a man by the name of Philip Levine, who was born in 1928 and who, for decades, has been writing a kind of lean, plain-spoken verse that contains multitudes.

To be honest, Levine's poetry is something I've had to grow into. But this is not the fault of Levine or his amazing work. The fault is my own. See, it took me years to truly appreciate the kind of art that Levine creates -- an art that inhabits more than it displays. It doesn't show; it doesn't tell; it is a manifestation -- of detail & feeling & action.

A Philip Levine poem calls attention to itself in the way a person does by just standing next to you. To connect, you have to reach out, but, once you do, you are changed by the encounter.

Examples of Levine's poetry include "A Story" and "What Work Is" but you can find countless others online.

Better yet, check out one of his amazing collections, like the National Book Award-winning What Work Is. Just open it and start reading. It'll be an experience, I guarantee.

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