Sunday, February 15, 2015


Phil Levine was a nice guy and a fine poet. His early book (his first?) NOT THIS PIG had an enormous impact on me when I was a young man. He wrote about being a working class guy and about working in factories and other kinds of hard labor, as a man who'd experienced it and had found the poetry in it.

I read with him decades ago and was happy to find him as unpretentious as I'd imagined he would be. Though he was a bit aloof in his own way, but then I've had people say they felt the same way about me at times when it was just something on my mind distracting me, or in my body.

Levine was a great ambassador for the art of poetry and, fortunately, he not only devoted his long full life to that art but had great success and recognition and awards and fulfillment in it. Condolences to his family, friends and many fans.

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