“I had had a dream, and that dream was a warning of what might happen to me if I rejected what I’d been and who I was.”

Levine 3Philip Levine’s essay “Entering Poetry,” describes the day he began writing about the people he had worked with in Detroit auto factories.  “When I closed my eyes and looked into the past, I did not see the blazing color of the forges of nightmare or the torn faces of the workers.  I didn’t hear the deafening ring of metal on metal. ” Instead, he sees the people, “the men and women of enormous sensitivity, delicacy, consideration,” who even in “those terrible places designed to rob us of our bodies and our spirits” could find a way to “sustain each other.”

Philip Levine, The Bread of Time: Toward and Autobiography (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2001), 89.

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