Literary Birthday – 10 January – Philip Levine

Philip Levine was born 10 January 1928, and died 14 February 2015.

Five Quotes

  1. How weightless words are when nothing will do.
  2. The irony is, going to work every day became the subject of probably my best poetry.
  3. Meet some people who care about poetry the way you do. You’ll have that readership. Keep going until you know you’re doing work that’s worthy. And then see what happens. That’s my advice.
  4. 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.
  5. Now I think poetry will save nothing from oblivion, but I keep writing about the ordinary because for me it’s the home of the extraordinary, the only home.

Philip Levine was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet. He received many other awards, including the National Book Award for What Work Is: Poems. He was appointed Poet Laureate of the United States for 2011–2012.


by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 10th January 2015