News of the World
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

News of the World

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  219 ratings  ·  27 reviews
A superb new collection from “a great American poet . . . still at work on his almost-song of himself” (The New York Times Book Review).

In both lively prose poems and more formal verse, Philip Levine brings us news from everywhere: from Detroit, where exhausted workers try to find a decent breakfast after the late shift, and Henry Ford, “supremely bored” in his mansion, cl...more
ebook, 80 pages
Published February 15th 2011 by Knopf (first published January 1st 2009)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about News of the World, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about News of the World

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 397)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Erik Simon
Levine's diction is so simple, and the music of his meter is so patient, and his imagery is so clear, and his pathos is so controlled that at his best his poems are transcendent little miracles from someone able to see so deeply in our world it's as if he's depicting another world that we cannot glimpse without his guidance--a Charon of words. But that same simplicity, patience, clarity and control, when he's not fully on, can make for some poems that are just simply dull. Unfortunately, that's...more
James Murphy
News of the World is a volume of poems about work, about disappearing industrial activity, and the flourishing of rust. Levine writes about closed factories. This is celebration of the past and a world now gone. He stands in the junkyards of America's midwest remembering the vanished times of the metal lunchbox and lines of men filing under skies busy with stacks and smoke and through workshops filled with the clamor of industry and purpose. Mostly he's remembering a childhood growing up in sett...more
Tim
Oct 29, 2009 Tim rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Doug Korb
THE AGNOSTIC PARABLES OF PHILIP LEVINE


News of the World
by Philip Levine
Hardcover 80 pages
Alfred A. Knopf (October, 2009)

In Philip Levine’s most recent collection, News of the World, the last poem in the book, ”Magic,” begins by describing Detroit’s Michigan Central Terminal, now destined to go the way of New York’s Pennsylvania Station. The poem’s speaker recounts the terminal’s importance as “the scene” of his early “enlightenment,” where he learned about “treasures of the world [he’d:] never...more
Dayna
I feel almost obligated to love Levine's work since he is the Poet Laureate, and while I appreciate his narrative style, I also grew a little tired of that singular approach. My favorite poems in this collection are "Magic" and "On Me!"
Matt Lee Sharp
I came into this book with a pretty heavy bias. I burned through my first two of his books (They Feed They Lion and What Work Is). I find the voice of his poetry enchanting. This collection begins in the aftermath of violence. The first half of the book seems to frequently return to a world just after war from the perspective of a person who was never there. Everything is second hand. We only touch the violence through relationships with family or watch it shape the world beyond us from a librar...more
Simone
“News of the world” by Philip Levine. Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House Inc., New York N.Y. 2009.
“News of the world” by Philip Levine is a collection of prose poetry that brings the happenings of the world to the reader’s fingertips. “News of the world” is a snapshot collection of poems that capture the essence of America and the world. Philip Levine gives contemporary poetry a fresh perspective by taking readers back into a time of war, a place of solitude, and desperation. His poems...more
Anne
I like to keep a book of poems on my bedside table. I chose this last collection by Philip Levine after reading that he was appointed Poet Laureate of the United States for 2011. I had read a few of his poems in the past and enjoyed him so I decided I'd buy a book. I chose this collection over his others simply because it was the one they had at the bookstore I happened to be in. I would recommend any of his poetry, however. His writing never fails to engage me.

I find it difficult to describe po...more
Patty
I don't know how the Library of Congress picks the Poet Laureate of the United States. I am fairly sure it involves secret meetings and long conversations. However, they do it, I am grateful that they just picked Philip Levine. I might not have read any poetry by him without having heard the announcement about his appointment.

This book is amazing. I just don't have the words to do Levine justice. His words are all you need. Go to the library, check out this book and read. Don't speed through it...more
Jasmine
Something between a 3 and 4, but fuck it, I love the whole "working man's voice" thing Levine's got going on and I love him and he got himself named the Poet Laureate, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. There's not much to say. This is poetry that someone who got put off poetry from too many high school English classes ("but what is the poet really saying?") can get into. Clean, natural, emotionally gutting. I'll let the poetry speak for itself:


OF LOVE AND OTHER DISASTERS

The punch-press op...more
JJ Aitken
Philip Levine does for me what Ramond Carver does for the short story. These poems have a clarity to them and a sense of hopefulness that leave me viewing the world in a much simpler way, larger yet whole. This shift in perception coming about from images as arbitrary as a young boys sneaker clad foot resting in the sunshine or the door to someones home left ajar. And these images re-appear to me for a long time afterwards. An all time favorite poet of mine.
Tristan
I loved this book so much. Every poem was powerful and natural and interesting. Section three was neat, it was entirely composed of prose poems, while the rest of the book was more standard free verse in terms of form. I especially like "A Story", "Arrival and Departure", "of Love and Other Disasters", "News of the World", and "Magic", but all the poems were great.
Kent
This offering from our newest Poet Laureate caught my attention as the "fresh pick of the day" at our library. While I am on a "quest" to discover poetry for the first time in my life, I decided to try and tackle it.

Several poems entertained me:

"Of Love and Other Disasters" made me chuckle, "Library Days" made me reminisce, "Innocence" brought a feeling of pride in our nation's ordinary heroes, and "Our Valley" made me think and want to learn how to appreciate the beautiful earth even more.

Yet,...more
Newtonlibrary Iowa
"I chose first a virgin copy of The Idiot by Dostoyevsky, every page of which confirmed life was irrational," Philip Levine recalls in "Library Days". Levine, who, though it seems he has traveled the world and lived the hard way to do so, has come to terms with irrationality being the norm. News of the World is just that—Levine's views of the world from various locations and at different points in time. He takes readers to Spain fifty years ago and Detroit at the turn of the twentieth century, a...more
Jason
My favorite section was III, which features prose poems. My favorite of those was "Fixing the Foot: On Rhythm." "Islands" and "Old World" also stood out. As for the rest of the poems in this collection, I found them to be rather boring or difficult to understand. Lots of poems were set overseas or took place many decades ago. A few that I did like:
"Unholy Saturday"
"On Me!"
"Library Days" (simply for the title)
"Two Voices" (has a killer ending)
"Burial Rites"
Therese
The ongoing acrimonious debate among American politicians about health care & health insurance contrasts so vividly with one poem in this book -- the memorable "Fixing the Foot: On Rhythm" -- that I had to give this book four stars just for its vision of a family doctor who is kind, wise, skilled, and beloved by his patients. The poem brought back memories of my own childhood physician, Dr. Assini, who made house calls. Thank you, US Poet Laureate Philip Levine.
Joy
this is a shout out to my favorite hometown working-class poet. a rare bird indeed. so glad, on reading this most recent tome, that at 85 he's still forging ahead strong, and not going gently into that good night. and last week, a $100,000 poetry prize. good for him. wishing him more great accomplishments to come.

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/201...
Nancy
Levine is a former US Poet Laureate. Poetry, more than other forms of writing, is like a visual art to me. Either I like it or don't, either it speaks to me or it doesn't. The poems in News of the World are well done, beautifully written, but I didn't really connect with them.
Kitty
Loved it from beginning to end. Poems are news that stay news, says Ezra, and these do. I heard Philip Levine read the opening poem -- the sense that we need to remember, "this is not MY land" nor are we in control of much.
Meditative, infused with a sense that life is bigger than we ... by painting history as present as now.
Sarah Ryburn
This slim volume of poetry marks Levine's twentieth since 1963 but my first experience of his work. I thoroughly enjoyed it. He works in both prose poems and more formal, structured poetry. As the title suggests, his verse proclaims news of the world and its strange, often melancholy as well as lovely, themes.
Susan
I'm rereading Phil Levine because it's time to do so. News of the World is just as amazing the second time as the first time I read it. Levine is the real deal! There's really nothing more to say. He's so damn good.
Patricia Murphy
I was surprised and delighted by the prose poems, which offered some more poetic moments than some of the other poems. Was also loving the varied landscapes here--Cuba, Australia, Spain.
Vpal23
Levine's poetry has that certain organic rhythm to it, like someone whispering certain truths in your ear. My father, the Baltic is simply a great, great poem.
Amanda Carver
Oh God, it pains me to give Philip Levine three stars, but there just weren't any real knockouts in this collection.
Jared Tester
Had "Gran Torino" been a poem, it would've been written by Philip Levine.
Randee Taylor
I've never read poetry, but this was pretty good.
ej cullen
Pretty good.
Alex Rinehart
Alex Rinehart is currently reading it
Sep 06, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 13 14 next »
  • Facts About the Moon
  • Human Chain
  • Head Off & Split
  • Slow Lightning
  • Native Guard
  • Hip Logic
  • What Have You Lost?
  • The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands
  • Come, Thief
  • Odes to Opposites
  • The Collected Poems, 1957-1982
  • Time and Materials
  • Space, in Chains
  • One Secret Thing
  • Moy Sand and Gravel
  • Winter Stars
  • Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty
  • Averno
15537
Philip Levine (b. January 10, 1928, Detroit, Michigan) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet best known for his poems about working-class Detroit. He taught for over thirty years at the English Department of California State University, Fresno and held teaching positions at other universities as well. He is appointed to serve as the Poet Laureate of the United States for 2011–2012.

Philip Levin...more
More about Philip Levine...
What Work Is: Poems The Simple Truth New Selected Poems Breath They Feed They Lion & The Names of the Lost: Two Books of Poems

Share This Book