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Starlight Essay

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Chris Semansky's most recent collection of poems, Blindsided, published by 26 Books of Portland, Oregon, has been nominated for an Oregon Book Award. In the following essay, Semansky explores thematic issues of emotional survival in three of Philip Levine's "father " poems in his collection, Ashes: Poems New and Old.

Philip Levine has written a number of poems describing his attempts to come to grips with his father's memory. In Ashes, his 1979 award-winning collection of poems, Levine begins both sections with poems about his father and also ends the book with a poem about him. Together, these poems provide a complex portrait of a man looking for ways to behave in the world, for ways to survive the crush of time.

The opening poem, "Father," describes a nightmarish industrial landscape in which a son searches for his father, both as a child and later as an adult.

The long lines...

(read more from the Critical Essay #2 section)

This section contains 1,286 words
(approx. 4 pages 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.