Analysis of Philip Levine's Poem What Work Is - Essay Example

Summary
The author examines Philip Levine’s poem entitled "What work is?" which is an obvious litany of a workman’s grievance and narration of what he or she goes through at work. This was very obvious in the opening line where Levine pointed out the poignant aspect of their lives of being a worker. …
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Analysis of Philip Levines Poem What Work Is
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Download file to see previous pages Rain here could mean a lot of things either literally or figuratively. The poem, however, took a deeper meaning when the “rain” in a “long line” is taken figuratively. For it meant feeling blue in waiting in a long line not to mention the inconvenience brought by rain while “waiting at Ford Highland Park”. This complaint, grievance or poignant disposition of the writer serves as the thesis of the poem where the rest of the poem takes its cue and argument of a narrative of a complaint.
The workplace is not only inconvenient and difficult but can be cruel as well. With work and employees making a living, most, of course, would want more than they want. This want to have more can turn “your own brother” as “someone else’s brother”
Evident with this line when “You rub your glasses /with your fingers,/and of course it’s someone else’s brother”. This suggests that man will turn against another just to get ahead ten paces ahead of us. This has been true during the time of Levine and is still true today not only at work but also in another aspect of life. Some will step on another or will do anything even to the detriment of a brother just to have a leg up.
Work, however, is not only about drudgery and a never-ending quest to endure. There must be a reason why people endure even the most back braking of work. Levine explained this in the poem why a man has to work. Poignant as the poem may sound with all the difficulty and impersonal rat race at the place of work, people work because of concern and love for the people they love. This love for someone else in their lives makes them endure the drudgery of work no matter how hard it is.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead more
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