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Starlight Criticism

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Ashes: Poems Old and New, the collection of poems in which "Starlight" appeared, received, along with 7 Years from Somewhere, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the American Book Award in 1979 and 1980, and was widely hailed as Levine's best book to date. Reviewing Ashes in Soho Weekly News, Rochelle Ratner writes that

"The remnants of his working-class childhood carry through an identification with the workers, the oppressed, he meets now, as if in a romanticized attempt to call back his childhood." Commenting on Levine's "great compassion and tenderness," Ralph Mills points out that poems about the poet's father frame the book, and claims that Levine "frequently views himself under various forms as dying and being reborn within the compass of an individual lifetime." Such a volatile view of the self intrigues many critics, who, like William Matthews, see in Levine's intensely emotional poems "a sense of time different...

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This section contains 310 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Starlight Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Starlight from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.