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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)

 

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Philip Levine

Philip Levine

The author of numerous award-winning poetry collections, Philip Levine was elected a  Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2000. In 2011, he was named the 18th U.S. Poet Laureate by the Library of Congress, and in 2013, he received the Academy of American Poets' Wallace Stevens Award for proven mastery in the art of poetry.

by this poet

poem

I had been on my way to work as usual
when the traffic stalled a quarter mile
from the railroad crossing on Grand Blvd.
Then I saw the moon rise above
the packing sheds of the old Packard plant.
The moon at 7:30 in the morning.
And the radio went on playing
the same violins and

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

We have the town we call home wakening for dawn
which isn’t yet here but is promised, we have

our tired neighbors rising in ones and twos, we have
the sky slowly separating itself from the houses

to become the sky while the stars blink a last time
and vanish to make way for us

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collection
In honor of former Academy Chancellor and Unite