What Work Is

Paperback $16.00

Knopf | Apr 21, 1992 | 96 Pages | 5-7/8 x 9 | ISBN 9780679740582

  • Paperback$16.00

    Knopf | Apr 21, 1992 | 96 Pages | 5-7/8 x 9 | ISBN 9780679740582

  • Ebook$12.99

    Knopf | Aug 31, 2011 | 96 Pages | ISBN 9780307761958

Awards

National Book Awards WINNER 1991

Praise

What Work Is gives a hymn-like quality to its eulogies and elegies. Levine’s voice frequently blurs the line between poetic utterance and prayer . . . His lyrical compassion, anger, and hopefulness make him one of the most authentically moving poets of our age.”
—Phoebe Pettingell, The New Leader
 
“It didn’t seem possible that Levine could improve on his first working-class portraits, yet I feel these new poems are an improvement: an extra dimension of dignity has been conferred on his characters . . . the poems ‘Fear and Fame,’ ‘Coming Close,’ ‘Every Blessed Day,’ and the title poem are perhaps the most moving that Levine has written—tender without being sentimental, calm but not lacking in passion, written in a diction as clear and lucid as spring water.”
—Alfred Corn, The Washington Post Book World
 
“Since the early 1960s Philip Levine has articulated in poetry the lives of the men and women who run machines, punch the time clocks, and work the assembly lines . . . What Work Is makes some of its severest poetry out of wounds inflicted on workers and the environments by manufacturing . . . New Selected Poems published simultaneously reminds us that he has been our preeminent poet of working life for several decades.”
—Richard Tillinghast, The New York Times Book Review

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