Philip Levine

(January 10, 1928 / Detroit, Michigan)

Philip Levine Poems

81. The House 1/13/2003
82. The Mercy 1/13/2003
83. The Negatives 1/13/2003
84. The New World 1/13/2003
85. The Present 1/13/2003
86. The Rains 1/13/2003
87. The Rat Of Faith 1/13/2003
88. The Red Shirt 1/13/2003
89. The Return 1/13/2003
90. The Simple Truth 1/13/2003
91. The Turning 1/13/2003
92. The Two 1/10/2012
93. The Unknowable 1/13/2003
94. The Water's Chant 1/13/2003
95. The Whole Soul 1/13/2003
96. Then 1/13/2003
97. They Feed They Lion 1/13/2003
98. Those Were The Days 1/13/2003
99. Told 1/13/2003
100. Unholy Saturday 4/7/2011
101. Voyages 1/13/2003
102. Waking In March 1/13/2003
103. What Work Is 1/13/2003
104. Where We Live Now 1/13/2003
105. Wisteria 1/13/2003
106. You Can Have It 1/13/2003
107. You Can Have It 12/31/2013
Best Poem of Philip Levine

What Work Is

We stand in the rain in a long line
waiting at Ford Highland Park. For work.
You know what work is—if you're
old enough to read this you know what
work is, although you may not do it.
Forget you. This is about waiting,
shifting from one foot to another.
Feeling the light rain falling like mist
into your hair, blurring your vision
until you think you see your own brother
ahead of you, maybe ten places.
You rub your glasses with your fingers,
and of course it's someone else's brother,
narrower across the shoulders than
yours but with the same sad slouch,...

Read the full of What Work Is

Mad Day In March

Beaten like an old hound
Whimpering by the stove,
I complicate the pain
That smarts with promised love.
The oilstove falls, the rain,
Forecast, licks at my wound;
Ice forms, clips the green shoot,
And strikes the wren house mute.

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