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On Being with Krista Tippett is a public radio project delving into the human side of news stories + issues. Curated + edited by senior editor Trent Gilliss.

We publish guest contributions. We edit long; we scrapbook. We do big ideas + deep meaning. We answer questions.

We've even won a couple of Webbys + a Peabody Award.

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Philip Levine’s “What Work Is”

by Kate Moos, managing producer

Philip LevineI love Philip Levine — poet of the working stiff. I go back again and again to his poetry with its precise cadence, its anger and patience and enduring beauty. Levine, who grew up in Detroit and spent time on its assembly lines, is a veteran chronicler of work, of the work that is labor.

As you rest from your labor, assuming you do rest, enjoy the treat of reading his fine poem about learning what work is, and the further treat of hearing him tell the story behind the poem before reciting it here courtesy of the Internet Poetry Archive.

The sketch to the left is drawn by N.C. Mallory/Flickr and posted here via Creative Commons.

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