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Philip Levine: A Large, Ironic Whiteman Of The Industrial Heart Home

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Philip Levine “a large, ironic Whiteman of the industrial heartland,” according to Edward Hirsch(www.poetryfoundation.org 1). Levine was born in Detroit, Michigan, on January 10, 1928 during the era of the Great Depression. Politics and family influenced Levine to write plenty of poetry. One of his many famous poems is “Starlight,” written in the journal Inquirey and reprinted in Ashes: Poems New and Old in 1979, however criticized by Paul Gray and Richard Hugo allowing readers to see his loss and regret toward his poems.
Levine’s parents Harry Levine and Esther Gertrude Prisol were Russian-Jewish immigrants that met in Detroit raising three children, Philip was the second child though was the first twin to be born. Through his life Levine’s father passed away when he was only five years old leaving his mother raising her children. He was raised in the city’s working class, by the age of 14 Levine worked in factories. He was also the first of his family to graduate from college, attending to Wayne State University earning his Master of Arts (M.A) degree. Later
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Throughout this poem he uses imagery, metaphors, symbolic meaning and other figurative language of his perspective as an adult going through childhood memory with his father. The setting in this poem is based on a memory in an autumn day outside the porch with his father while he speaks to his young child who can barely understand the meanings and expressions he has as an adult. The title of the poem gives a theme named after a character or event in the event which also proves a symbolized image of a traditional insight or achievement of wisdom. However, it is told that this may or may not be an actual event, but an idea of fatherhood or point reasons being expressed or an emotional or spiritual exhaustion in this short poem (Ruby and Milne
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