Philip Levine

(January 10, 1928 / Detroit, Michigan)

Philip Levine Poems

81. I Won, You Lost 1/13/2003
82. Night Words 1/13/2003
83. Heaven 1/13/2003
84. Gin 1/13/2003
85. They Feed They Lion 1/13/2003
86. Everything 1/13/2003
87. You Can Have It 1/13/2003
88. Father 1/13/2003
89. Berenda Slough 1/13/2003
90. At Bessemer 1/13/2003
91. Black Stone On Top Of Nothing 1/13/2003
92. Detroit Grease Shop Poem 1/13/2003
93. Coming Close 1/13/2003
94. Clouds Above The Sea 1/13/2003
95. An Ending 1/13/2003
96. Another Song 1/13/2003
97. Any Night 1/13/2003
98. Bitterness 1/13/2003
99. Clouds 1/13/2003
100. A Woman Waking 1/13/2003
101. Among Children 1/13/2003
102. The Simple Truth 1/13/2003
103. Call It Music 1/13/2003
104. Animals Are Passing From Our Lives 1/13/2003
105. An Abandoned Factory, Detroit 1/13/2003
106. A Sleepless Night 1/13/2003
107. What Work Is 1/13/2003
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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