My Lost Poets

My Lost Poets

A Life in Poetry

Book - 2016
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"Essays, speeches, and journal entries from one of our most admired and best-loved poets that illuminate how he came to understand himself as a poet, the events and people that he wrote about, and the older poets who influenced him. In prose both as superbly rendered as his poetry and as down-to-earth and easy as speaking, Levine reveals the things that made him the poet he became. In the title essay, originally the final speech of his poet laureate year, he recounts how as a boy he composed little speeches walking in the night woods near his house and how he later realized these were his first poems. He wittily takes on the poets he studied with in the Iowa Writing Program: John Berryman, who was his great teacher and lifelong friend, and Robert Lowell, who was neither. His deepest influences--jazz, Spain, the working people of Detroit--are reflected in many of the pieces. There are essays on Spanish poets he admires, William Carlos Williams, Wordsworth, Keats, and others. A wonderful, moving collection of writings that add to our knowledge and appreciation of Philip Levine--both the man and the poet"-- Provided by publisher.
"Essays, speeches, and journal entries from one of our most admired and best-loved poets that illuminate how he came to understand himself as a poet, the events and people that he wrote about, and the older poets who influenced him"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 2016
Edition: First Edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780451493279
0451493273
Characteristics: ix, 210 pages ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Hirsch, Edward - Editor

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Waluconis
Sep 05, 2019

This welcome collection of Philip Levine's talks and essays was published after the great poet's death. He describes the many roles of poetry in his life and in the world. This includes his first creations of poetry when he didn't know what poetry was, but found himself alone talking out loud to the moon. There are fantastic anecdotes from the lives of poets that he sought out or encountered. In his prose, his tone finds the same tone as that of his poetry. Writing voice is writing voice. He includes many insights into what poetry is and what it does. He quotes Lorca's definition, “the unending baptism of newly created things". He includes many poets not well known at all, but makes them memorable, being a part of " my brothers and sisters in madness and glory who shared with me their faith in the power of the perfect words, the words we knew as children and then forgot?"

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