voice of the working man

Poet Philip Levine (a former Detroiter too--HUZZAH!) has just been named the next United State Poet Laureate, succeeding W.S. Merwin. See the full story here.

This poem touched me; made me think of home; made me a little sad for what used to be, the Detroit of my parents' childhood, the Detroit of my grandparents.

Also, welcome new follower antonio0500!


"An Abandoned Factory, Detroit"
The gates are chained, the barbed-wire fencing stands,
An iron authority against the snow,
And this grey monument to common sense
Resists the weather. Fears of idle hands,
Of protest, men in league, and of the slow
Corrosion of their minds, still charge this fence.

Beyond, through broken windows one can see
Where the great presses paused between their strokes
And thus remain, in air suspended, caught
In the sure margin of eternity.
The cast-iron wheels have stopped; one counts the spokes
Which movement blurred, the struts inertia fought,

And estimates the loss of human power,
Experienced and slow, the loss of years,
The gradual decay of dignity.
Men lived within these foundries, hour by hour;
Nothing they forged outlived the rusted gears
Which might have served to grind their eulogy.

--Philip Levine



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