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A Walk with Jefferson Kindle Edition

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Length: 64 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In his first volume since Sweet Will ( LJ 4/15/85), Levine explores his past (I looked down from great height/ at a burned world I believed/ I never had to enter."). But he did enter this burned world, a world of commerce, the daily "buying and selling" of souls. Levine's power derives from colloquial language fueled by anger. But in some of these 20 poems, anger dissipates to bitterness and his language goes flat. The long title poem, though, is its cornerstone: Levine's Tom Jefferson is a survivor of the consequences of commerceits wars, race riots, urban wastelands. Tom endures, like his winter garden, because he "believes/ the roots need cold,/ the earth needs to turn/ to ice and snow so a new fire/ can start up in the heart/ of all that grows."Robert Hudzik, P.L. of Cincinnati & Hamilton Cty.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2183 KB
  • Print Length: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1 edition (March 13, 2013)
  • Publication Date: March 13, 2013
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BH0VTF2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,189,128 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Peterson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover
No matter that I already own far more books than I will be able to read, I find it difficult to go into a good used bookstore and not buy something. On my last visit, it was this slim volume of nineteen poems by Philip Levine, published in 1988.

I bought it after reading the first poem, "Buying and Selling", which is an overview of portions of Levine's career as a working stiff in mid-twentieth-century America. One of his jobs had been on a loading dock, and after the last truck had been loaded at the close of the working day, the poet writes,
"Silent, alone, I would stand in the truck's
gray wake feeling something had passed,
was over, complete. The great metal doors
of the loading dock crashed down, and in
the sudden aftermath I inhaled a sadness
stronger than my Lucky Strike * * *."
Good stuff, though not great. At least it resonated with me, who during my similar, long-ago working career even smoked unfiltered Lucky Strikes.

Philip Levine was born in 1928 in Detroit, and before becoming a poet and academic of sorts, he worked for many years in a variety of the sweaty, low-paying jobs spawned by the Industrial Revolution that have now, largely, gone the way of the rotary-dial telephone. He has aptly described the subjects of the poems in this book as "the way we work and don't work in a society that has abandoned so many of its citizens, and how we endure, since that is the only choice we have."

By and large, the poems are personal and concrete, and not particularly difficult to decipher. A few struck me as somewhat contrived. Some might cavil that most of the pieces are not truly poetry, that they are prose, broken into lines of approximately the same length.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By eugene dennis donaldson on October 4, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I feel that I was fortunate to find this out of print book by Philip Levine. I received exactly what I expected and faster than promised.
It was a good experience.
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