By Philip Levine
The foundation for the identify poem of Philip Levine's A stroll with Tom Jefferson is no longer the founding father and 3rd president of the U.S. that the majority readers may think upon listening to the identify. Levine's Tom Jefferson is kind of diverse from his namesake: he's an African American residing in a destitute sector of business Detroit. yet to Levine, he's "wise, compassionate, planned, honest...a nice unknown American." In A stroll with Tom Jefferson, Philip Levine reminds us why he's most sensible identified for his poems approximately working-class existence in Detroit--and why such a lot of humans count number a Levine poem between their favorites.
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Additional info for A Walk with Jefferson
48 The Eternal Son Someone’s thinking about his mother tonight. The wakeful son of a parent who hardly sleeps, the sleepless father of his own restless child, God, is it you? Is it me? Do you have a mother? Who mixes ﬂour and sugar for your birthday cake? Who stirs slumber and remembrance in a song for your bedtime? If you’re the cry enjoining dawn, who birthed you? If you’re the bell tolling night without circumference, who rocked you? Someone’s separating the white grains of his insomnia from the black seeds of his sleep.
They equal their due moment never begging, and enter ours without parting day. See how three birds in a winter tree make the tree barer. Two ﬂy away, and new rooms open in December. Give up what you guessed about a whirring heart, the little beaks and claws, their constant hunger. We’re the nervous ones. If even one of our violent number could be gentle long enough that one of them found it safe inside our ﬁnally untroubled and untroubling gaze, who wouldn’t hear what singing completes us? 42 Build by Flying I lean on a song.
28 And never forget it answers to no address, but calls wave after wave to a path of thirst. Never forget the candle climbing down without glancing back. And what about the heart counting alone, out loud, in that game in which the many hide from the one? Never forget the cry completely hollowed of the dying one who cried it. Only in such pure outpouring is there room for all this night. 29 Degrees of Blue At the place in the story where a knock at the hull wakes the dreamer and he opens his eyes to ﬁnd the rowers gone, the boat tied to an empty dock, the boy looks up from his book, out the window, and sees the hills have turned their backs, they are walking into evening.
A Walk with Jefferson by Philip Levine