By Philip Levine
The muse for the identify poem of Philip Levine's A stroll with Tom Jefferson is now not the founding father and 3rd president of the U.S. that almost all readers might think upon listening to the identify. Levine's Tom Jefferson is kind of various from his namesake: he's an African American residing in a destitute quarter of commercial Detroit. yet to Levine, he's "wise, compassionate, planned, honest...a nice unknown American." In A stroll with Tom Jefferson, Philip Levine reminds us why he's most sensible recognized for his poems approximately working-class existence in Detroit--and why such a lot of humans count number a Levine poem between their favorites.
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Extra resources for A Walk with Jefferson
The dream was true— the test already begun, testing that never stops. That look is what he kissed her for, her lips— 29 he laughs when he tells this part of the story later— her lips clenched shut. (The nights she’d stayed working to give back the words he’d say. ) I can tell you this. No bat ever wasted time on wondering what it was like to be a human. 30 Mortal Coil I started to write a poem called “Skin,” about skin— about snakes, snakeskins out in the toolshed: shed vellum, opalescent. I touched them.
How can it possibly be done? —Sigmund Freud 1. My name is Jenny Scott; I found my end at the Textile Museum, on Embassy Row, on S. Street. What my father didn’t know couldn’t hurt me. What the government didn’t know could hurt him. What is kind in institutions is impersonal, also, what is cruel. Marriage is all it is cracked up to be. The carousel down on the Mall will stand still for a price. I never got to ride the jeweled horse. ” And I learned to dye. I miss my arts and crafts lessons, release and discipline combined, their steadiness.
Oh, how deaf to the future it can’t hear despite its chuff and chirr. Like the skyscraper’s rise, false enterprise, because torqued by undermining imposture, it is the fault of weak disenchantment. It is like the shovel mouth slowed by dirt; the future’s why; it’s a foolish consistency. 26 It slobbers buckets, slobbers the remorse, the bruise, the heart oozes from its guts—if the heart has guts; it has to start ejection. It’s ash in the shovel-mouth’s sludge; in the drudging persistences of the sacked city.
A Walk with Jefferson by Philip Levine