"The irony is, going to work every day became the subject of probably my best poetry."
"All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling."Philip Levine on Oscar Wilde
"A poet can survive everything but a misprint."Philip Levine on Oscar Wilde
"Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things."Philip Levine on T. S. Eliot
"Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words."Philip Levine on Robert Frost
"A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness."Philip Levine on Robert Frost
"There'll always be working people in my poems because I grew up with them, and I am a poet of memory."
"I realized poetry's the thing that I can do 'cause I can stick at it and work with tremendous intensity."
"Meet some people who care about poetry the way you do. You'll have that readership. Keep going until you know you're doing work that's worthy. And then see what happens. That's my advice."
"Now I think poetry will save nothing from oblivion, but I keep writing about the ordinary because for me it's the home of the extraordinary, the only home."
"My mother carried on and supported us her ambition had been to write poetry and songs."