Philip Levine's A Walk with Jefferson PDF

By Philip Levine

ISBN-10: 030782974X

ISBN-13: 9780307829740

The foundation for the name poem of Philip Levine's A stroll with Tom Jefferson is no longer the founding father and 3rd president of the USA that almost all readers could think upon listening to the identify. Levine's Tom Jefferson is sort of diversified from his namesake: he's an African American dwelling in a destitute region of business Detroit. yet to Levine, he's "wise, compassionate, planned, honest...a nice unknown American." In A stroll with Tom Jefferson, Philip Levine reminds us why he's top recognized for his poems approximately working-class existence in Detroit--and why such a lot of humans count number a Levine poem between their favorites.

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Third, pragmatism functions in the strategic, experimental deployment of diction and syntax that force the reader in turn to conduct her own active inquiry into how meanings and values (and thus the self) are culturally constructed and might be remade through discourse. While these pragmatic elements are proper to many texts one might consider modern or postmodern, what marks these texts as pragmatically pastoral is their direct invocation of the pastoral mode as a signal of their conscious intervention into national debates as to the nature of the new ideal self and good society, as well as the indebtedness—direct and indirect—of most of these poets to the work of Dewey and James.

14 Pragmatists and progressives emphasized relationships beyond those that were economic and proprietary in nature, with strictly vertical lines of responsibility and ownership, instead emphasizing a more Pastoral Ideology, Pragmatic Response ● 27 flexible, horizontal sense of social and financial obligation. As members of a democracy increasingly defined by intangible and mutually entangled expressions of ownership, American citizens were simultaneously urged to feel as never before an enlarged sense of responsibility toward all members of the community.

28 Continuing a few passages later, he asserts: “Only your mystic, your dreamer, or your insolvent tramp or loafer, can afford so sympathetic an occupation, an occupation which will change the usual standards of human values in the twinkling of an eye, giving to foolishness a place ahead of power, and laying low in a minute the distinctions which it takes a hard-working conventional man a lifetime to 46 ● Pastoral, Pragmatism, American Poetry build up” (OCB, 851). The tramp emerges here as the protopragmatist, the individual capable of revealing the elusive, transitory nature of “value” and in the process enabling the creation of a “new centre and a new perspective” upon human existence.

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A Walk with Jefferson by Philip Levine


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