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My colleague Kate Moos posted this lovely poem on SOF Observed. I love her description of Levine: “Poet of the working stiff.” Yeah, you can read the poem but listening to the poet actually talk about what inspired him to compose it is well worth your time today:

Philip Levine’s “What Work Is”

by Kate Moos, managing producer

Philip LevineI love Philip Levine — poet of the working stiff. I go back again and again to his poetry with its precise cadence, its anger and patience and enduring beauty. Levine, who grew up in Detroit and spent time on its assembly lines, is a veteran chronicler of work, of the work that is labor.

As you rest from your labor, assuming you do rest, enjoy the treat of reading his fine poem about learning what work is, and the further treat of hearing him tell the story behind the poem before reciting it here courtesy of the Internet Poetry Archive.

The sketch to the left is drawn by N.C. Mallory/Flickr and posted here via Creative Commons.

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