View Full Version : RIP Philip Levine

02-16-2015, 04:12 AM
Philip Levine, Pulitzer prize winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate, died Saturday morning February 14. (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/16/books/an-appraisal-the-poet-philip-levine-an-outsider-archiving-the-forgotten.html?partner=rss&emc=rss)

I had a brief exchange with another AW member the other day, about people in poems, or the absence of people in poems. Levine had much to say about that. He wasn't a favorite of some critics, as his poetry was that kind often described as "prose with line breaks". But he sure knew how to turn a phrase and turn the knife in your heart with the same twist.

The article linked quotes a number of passages. Levine is someone whose work you might seek out if you're wanting accessible poetry that doesn't require too much sophistication from the reader as to poetic form and convention, yet satisfies nonetheless. I doubt Levine ever lapsed into mere cleverness or mere sentiment, as a couple of other accessible poets I'm thinking of often seem to do.

Anyway. Check out this man's work if you don't know of him.

I recognize some of the poems quoted but don't know his work well enough at all, even to have recognized his name. I'm not very good with names. I'll be looking for him now.

02-16-2015, 04:27 AM
Sad. Though not a fan, I always thought he was at the very least, an interesting poet: which ultimately, is all you really have to be as a writer anyway. Now I’ll have to go back and read him again.

02-16-2015, 04:47 AM
Levine did write several poems in classic meters. You might key in to internet "Lights I Have Seen Before", For Fran", "My Poets", and several more. So he did and could write it. But he preferred the style commonly associated with him of long lined free verse.

I was reading about him only the other day. Rest in peace Poet. You will be missed.

William Haskins
02-16-2015, 05:06 AM

he was a capable and passionate voice for the working class.

02-16-2015, 05:57 AM
Oh no. Damn.
Another Dead Poet.