Day 23: "The Last Shift" by Philip Levine
I must say that I was introduced to Philip Levine's work in The Writers Studio. Somehow, I never encountered it before. This particular book was in the boxes of 800 books--I am grateful, because the gift held all of Philip Levine's books. I chose this one at random. In the introduction, it says that this is last book that Levine put together (with help though) himself. And that fits what is being written about.
The poems I most related to are the writing poems and there are lots of them in The Last Shift. The poet is aging or is much older nearing the end of life and there is such nostalgia for what will not be said and what cannot be said. The pens are losing their ink, the watches are ticking, but they aren't keeping the proper time--and still they are used and treasured.
I believe that these images are a metaphor for aging and death. This book does have a morose topic--but does not wallow in needing pity. It is not a complete celebration of aging, but most definitely, a reflection and contemplation of it.
The book it tight and lovely. He is called "one of the most beloved poets"--and it is clear why.