Philip Levine Quotes


27 Philip Levine quotes:



"There'll always be working people in my poems because I grew up with them, and I am a poet of memory."
"I'm afraid we live at the mercy of a power, maybe a God, without mercy. And yet we find it, as I have, from others."
"I was eighteen or nineteen years old, and I'd get these genius ideas for novels and try to finish then in three or four days without going to sleep."
"The irony is, going to work every day became the subject of probably my best poetry."
"Back then, I couldn't have left a poem a year and gone back to it."
"It's ironic that while I was a worker in Detroit, which I left when I was twenty six, my sense was that the thing that's going to stop me from being a poet is the fact that I'm doing this crummy work."
"My mother carried on and supported us; her ambition had been to write poetry and songs."
"But I'm too old to be written about as a young poet."
"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."
"I started listening to music when I wrote when I had three sons at home."
"American poets have been criticized for anything you can think of. For being too English, recently for not being English enough."
"It would be nice to stumble onto one of those great projects so I could stay busy right through my dotage, but I'm not counting on it."
"For sure I once thought of myself as the poet who would save the ordinary from oblivion."
"Let's say I live to be eighty - I'm seventy-one now - nothing I do between now and eighty is going to change the way people think about my poetry."
"I write what's given me to write."
"I'm seventy-one now, so it's hard to imagine a dramatic change."
"My father died when I was five, but I grew up in a strong family."
"I have a sense that many Americans, especially those like me with European or foreign parents, feel they have to invent their families just as they have to invent themselves."
"If that voice that you created that is most alive in the poem isn't carried throughout the whole poem, then I destroy where it's not there, and I reconstruct it so that that voice is the dominant voice in the poem."
"I was very lucky to have a mother who encouraged me to become a poet."



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