Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Philip Levine: the new US Poet Laureate

"Fact is, silence is the perfect water:
unlike rain it falls from no clouds
to wash our minds, to ease our tired eyes,
to give heart to the thin blades of grass
fighting through the concrete for even air
dirtied by our endless stream of words."

- from “He Would Never Use One Word Where None Would Do” 1999

About writing poetry when not working the night shift, Levine has written:

"I believed even then that if I could transform my experience into poetry I would give it the value and dignity it did not begin to possess on its own. I thought too that if I could write about it I could come to understand it; I believed that if I could understand my life—or at least the part my work played in it—I could embrace it with some degree of joy, an element conspicuously missing from my life."


Congratulations, Mr. Levine, you have done well.

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