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Overview

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1995
 
Written in a voice that moves between elegy and prayer, The Simple Truth contains thirty-three poems whose aim is to weave a complex tapestry of myth, history (both public and private), family, memory, and invention in a search for truths so basic and universal ...
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The Simple Truth

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Overview

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1995
 
Written in a voice that moves between elegy and prayer, The Simple Truth contains thirty-three poems whose aim is to weave a complex tapestry of myth, history (both public and private), family, memory, and invention in a search for truths so basic and universal they often escape us all.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Levine's detailed physicality is so "imitated that his style and diction are now the standard" (LJ 11/1/94). This was a Pulitzer Prize winner.
From the Publisher
“I am a longtime admirer of Philip Levine’s poetry, but until now I thought he could never surpass The Names of the Lost, a book I love deeply. But The Simple Truth deserves its title—I wonder if any American poet since Walt Whitman himself has written elegies this consistently magnificent. The controlled pathos of every poem in the volume is immense, and gives me a new sense of Levine.”
—Harold Bloom
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307559739
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/31/2011
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 1,188,027
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Philip Levine was born in 1928 in Detroit and was formally educated there, in the public schools and at Wayne University (now Wayne State University). After a succession of industrial jobs, he left the city for good and lived in various parts of the country before settling in Fresno, California, where he taught at the state university until his retirement. For twelve autumns he served as poet in residence at New York University. He has received many awards for his books of poems, including the National Book Award in 1991 for What Work Is and the Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for The Simple Truth. In 2011 he was appointed Poet Laureate of the United States. He divides his time between Fresno, California, and Brooklyn, New York.

Biography

On August 10th, 2011, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced the appointment of Philip Levine as the Library's 18th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2011-2012.

Levine will take up his duties in the fall, opening the Library's annual literary season with a reading of his work at the Coolidge Auditorium on Monday, Oct. 17.

"Philip Levine is one of America's great narrative poets," Billington said. "His plainspoken lyricism has, for half a century, championed the art of telling ‘The Simple Truth'--about working in a Detroit auto factory, as he has, and about the hard work we do to make sense of our lives."

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    1. Hometown:
      Fresno, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 10, 1928
    2. Place of Birth:
      Detroit, Michigan
    1. Education:
      B.A., Wayne State University; M.F.A., Iowa Writers Workshop, University of Iowa

Table of Contents

On the Meeting of Garcia Lorca and Hart Crane 3
Ode for Mrs. William Settle 5
Lame Ducks, McKesson and Robbins, 1945 7
February 14th 9
One Day 10
Ask for Nothing 13
Soul 14
The Trade 16
Llanto 18
In the Dark 19
Magpiety 20
The Poem of Chalk 27
Dreaming in Swedish 29
Out by Dark 30
The Return 32
Getting There 33
Blue 36
Blue and Blue 37
Tristan 39
Dust and Memory 41
The Escape 42
The Simple Truth 44
No Buyers 47
Winter Words, Manhattan 49
My Sister's Voice 51
The Old Testament 52
Photography 54
My Brother Abel, the Wounded 56
Edward Lieberman, Entrepreneur, Four Years After the Burnings on Okinawa 58
Listen Carefully 59
The Spanish Lesson 61
My Mother with Purse the Summer They Murdered the Spanish Poet 63
My Father with Cigarette Twelve Years before the Nazis Could Break his Heart 65
Notes 69
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