Philip Levine Poems
- A Sleepless Night April, and the last of the plum blossoms ...
- What Work Is We stand in the rain in a long line waiting at ...
- An Abandoned Factory, Detroit The gates are chained, the ...
- The Simple Truth I bought a dollar and a half's worth of ...
- A Woman Waking She wakens early remembering her father ...
- Animals Are Passing From Our L... It's wonderful how I ...
- Bitterness Here in February, the fine dark branches of the ...
a Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet best known for his poems about working-class Detroit. He taught for over thirty years at the English Department of California State University, Fresno and held teaching positions at other universities as well. He is appointed to serve as the Poet Laureate of the United States for 2011–2012.
Philip Levine grew up in industrial Detroit, the second of three sons and the first of identical twins of Jewish immigrant parents. His father, Harry Levine, owned a used auto parts business, his mother, Esther Priscol (Prisckulnick) Levine, was a bookseller. When Levine was five years old, his father died. Growing up, he faced the ... more »
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A Sleepless Night
April, and the last of the plum blossoms
scatters on the black grass
before dawn. The sycamore, the lime,
the struck pine inhale
the first pale hints of sky.
An iron day,
I think, yet it will come
dazzling, the light
rise from the belly of leaves and pour
burning from the cups
The mockingbird squawks
from his perch, fidgets,
and settles back. The snail, awake
for good, trembles from his shell
and sets sail for China. My hand dances
in the memory of a million ...