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Recorded on February 23, 1978. From the Academy of American Poets Archive.
About this Poem 

Recorded on February 23, 1978. From the Academy of American Poets Archive.

A New Day (audio only)

Philip Levine, 1928 - 2015

 

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Philip Levine

Philip Levine

Winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, Philip Levine is the author of numerous books of poetry, most recently News of the World.

by this poet

poem
We don't see the ocean, not ever, but in July and August 
when the worst heat seems to rise from the hard clay
of this valley, you could be walking through a fig orchard
when suddenly the wind cools and for a moment
you get a whiff of salt, and in that moment you can almost
believe something is waiting beyond
poem
When he gets off work at Packard, they meet
outside a diner on Grand Boulevard. He's tired,
a bit depressed, and smelling the exhaustion
on his own breath, he kisses her carefully
on her left cheek. Early April, and the weather
has not decided if this is spring, winter, or what.
The two gaze upwards at the sky
poem
Take this quiet woman, she has been
standing before a polishing wheel
for over three hours, and she lacks
twenty minutes before she can take
a lunch break. Is she a woman?
Consider the arms as they press
the long brass tube against the buffer,
they are striated along the triceps,
the three heads of which clearly

collected in

collection
In honor of former Academy Chan