obituaries

Phillip Levine (1928 - 2015)

The poet Phillip Levine passed away on Sunday. The obituaries you may or may not read are going to focus on his reputation as a poet who wrote about the working class, or more accurately, about the actual work of those we lump under that term. And he was, no doubt, that. The title of one of his two National Book Award winning collections was after all What Work Is. And he should be lauded for that part of his work, but he was not only that. He was too smart, too multi-dimensional a human to be satisfied with that.

In Memoriam

Back in the 50s, there was a television series titled December Bride.  It starred Spring Byington as a widow who longed to find a suitable man and remarry.  A character actor played the next-door neighbor named Pete.  The actor was Harry Morgan.  He went on to star in a spinoff series titled Pete and Gladys, a show that I remember.  My grandmother was a great fan of both shows; and no matter what other series Morgan was in, she always called him “Ol’ Pete.”  So when Harry Morgan passed away this past December, I guess it was natural for me to think, “Ol’ Pete is gone.”<

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