Memorizing a Philip Levine Poem

There are some poems that I want to remember without having to look in a book. I want to have that very special poem with me always. Soloing by Philip Levine from What Work Is is just such a poem. In the poem Levine’s mother dreams of John Coltrane.

An excerpt follows:

“What a world, a mother and son
finding solace in California
just where we were told it would
be, among the palm trees and all-
night super markets pushing orange
back-lighted oranges at 2 A.M.
“He was alone,” she says, and does
not say, just as I am, “soloing.”
What a world, a great man half
her age comes to my mother
in sleep to give her the gift
of song, which—shaking the tears
away—she passes on to me, for now
I can hear the music of the world
in the silence and that word:

6 responses

    • Thank you. I haven’t read Schultz yet, but just added him to my list. I just read one of Donald Justice’s poems and put him on my list too. Thanks for stopping by. Good to hear from you.

  1. Thomas,

    am sharing this link which I saw at the blog of a friend. Needless to say I couldn’t help but think of you.

    I am leaving this information here because it has nothing to do with everything and everything to do with nothing. Smile.

    • Thank you, Ma-Li. I have been working on some stories; they are making very slow progress. I’ll have to consider if I can commit myself to a class at this time.

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