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CALL IT MUSIC (Excerpt)
by Philip Levine

Some days I catch a rhythm, almost a song
in my own breath. I’m alone here
in Brooklyn Heights, late morning, the sky
above the St. George Hotel clear, clear
for New York, that is. The radio playing
“Bird Flight,” Parker in his California
tragic voice fifty years ago, his faltering
“Lover Man” just before he crashed into chaos.
I would guess that outside the recording studio
in Burbank the sun was high above the jacarandas,
it was late March, the worst of yesterday’s rain
had come and gone, the sky washed blue…

SOURCE: Read “Call It Music” in its entirety at poetryfoundation.org. The poem originally appeared in Poetry (September 2000).

IMAGE: “Blue Sky and Jacaranda Blossoms” by Kaye Menner. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Philip Levine (born January 10, 1928, Detroit, Michigan) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet best known for his poems about working-class Detroit. He taught for more than thirty years in the English department of California State University, Fresno, and held teaching positions at other universities as well. He was appointed Poet Laureate of the United States for 2011–2012. (Read more at wikipedia.org.)