The Bread of Time: Toward an Autobiography

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9780679424062: The Bread of Time: Toward an Autobiography

From one of our most celebrated poets - winner of two National Book Awards and two awards from the National Book Critics Circle - an extraordinary memoir that has dictated its own thrust and shape.
Philip Levine's The Bread of Time is an amalgam of celebration and quest. It celebrates the poets who were his teachers - particularly John Berryman and Yvor Winters, whose lives and work, Levine believes, have been misunderstood and misinterpreted. As the book progressed to include an account not only of his own childhood and young manhood in Detroit but also of his middle and later years in California and Spain, Levine realized that he was also striving to discover "how I became the particular person and poet I am." The resulting memoir is a double-edged revelation of the way writers grow. Witty, elegantly rendered in a prose as characteristically Levine's as his verse, it is superb - and essential - reading for everyone interested in contemporary poetry and poets.

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About the Author:

Philip Levine has received many awards for his books of poems, most recently the National Book Award for What Work Is in 1991 and the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for The Simple Truth in 1995. Levine recently retired from the University of California, Fresno.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Nine autobiographical essays (all published previously in literary magazines) by National Book Award-winning poet Levine, forming a rough but revealing chronicle of influences and inspiring moments--from the author's humbling origins to his contemplations of later life. In the first episode, a gentle tribute to John Berryman- -Levine's mentor in his first year at the Iowa Writers' Workshop- -the life and craft of the poet appear completely entwined. Whether learning at the feet of the prickly but humane Berryman, or subsequently being encouraged as a Stanford Fellow under the tutelage of Yvor Winters, apprentice Levine's circumstances are rendered with wit and considerable feeling. Other experiences, however--including a 1965 sabbatical with wife and children in Franco's Spain that afforded the opportunity to discover and appreciate Spanish poets such as Antonio Machado (with five poems of Machado, translated by Levine, included) and to grasp the full tragedy of the Republican defeat--prove even more moving. In a typically wide-ranging chain of associations, another essay links childhood encounters with class realities in Detroit to much later ruminations on Spanish anarchism experienced while the poet was in Barcelona--with these linked to Levine's apology, through analysis of Yeat's ``Sailing to Byzantium,'' for having failed to live according to the anarchist ideal. Restless, probing fragments of a memoir that mix lyricism and life in equal measure, creating a subtle portrait of the poet both in embryo and fulled formed. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Levine, Philip
Published by Knopf (1994)
ISBN 10: 0679424067 ISBN 13: 9780679424062
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Levine, Philip
Published by Knopf (1994)
ISBN 10: 0679424067 ISBN 13: 9780679424062
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
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