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Philip Levine on Poetry

April 25, 2012

An excellent interview in Tablet Magazine with U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine, covering everything from his blue-collar subjects to Dylan Thomas. I found myself drawn in particular to this quote, which features a nice little zinger at the end:

“The source of my poetry is my memory. I have a very good memory, and I remember a great deal. Coleridge commented that imagination has only the present and the past to work off of. Where else will it get its imagery? From things you actually see and remember. And I think much more from what you remember—what you heard, what you felt in the past. In the present, you’re just trying to write the fucking poem.”


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