Honoring Philip Levine (1928–2015)

In 1994, ibiblian Max Leach and friends took a trip to Fresno, California to visit with Philip Levine and to record him reading and commenting on several of his poems for the Internet Poetry Archive hosted here. We all remember Levine for his poems of apparent simplicity and strength, but listening you hear his virtuosity and control and patterning through sounds and syllabics that give his stories their punch-in-the-gut feel.

Philip Levine

Among the poems are a number of our favorites:

Animals are passing from our lives

What work is

They feed they lion

All the poems and more here at the Internet Poetry Archive.

Internet Poetry Archive

Mid-Winter; Warm Love

cc-licensed derivative work from flickr user Kjunstorm


“All passions make us commit some faults, love alone makes us ridiculous.”

François duc de La Rochefoucauld
Reflections; or Sentences and Moral Maxims from Project Gutenberg. [Link to Reflections; or Sentences and Moral Maxims no longer available]

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A Cowboy Valentine’s Day Date

If a cowboy should ask you out
On a Valentine’s Day date,
Don’t get in a hurry,
‘Cause you can bet that he’ll be late.

Sustainable Farmers offer poetic advice for dating cowboys on Valentine’s Day.

St Valentine baptizing St Lucilla

WebMuseum, one of the oldest and still well used and referenced sites on the web, offers St Valentine Baptizing St Lucilla by Jacopo Bassano (circa 1575).

Voyez donc comme elle est belle, ma Valentine

Écrit en français, George Sand raconte une histoire de valentine et de l’amour – bien sûr. via le Projet Gutenberg.

MidWinter Rituals at ibiblio in years past

20 years ago — December 1994 in Doctor Fun

Santa runs a tight ship

Frosty tales

The Persians used to celebrate a festival of fire called Sada or Saza at the winter solstice. On the longest night of the year they kindled bonfires everywhere, and kings and princes tied dry grass to the feet of birds and animals, set fire to the grass, and then let the birds and beasts fly or run blazing through the air or over the fields and mountains, so that the whole air and earth appeared to be on fire

From Part VII: Balder the Beautiful: The Fire-Festivals of Europe and the Doctrine of the External Soul.The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion by James George Frazer, D.C.L., LL.D., Litt.D., Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, Professor of Social Anthropology in the University of Liverpool. 1919 edition.