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Pili's Wall, by Philip Levine, former Poet Laureate of the United States




This poem is written in Levine's characteristic style of short, declarative phrasing and the lines speak in the voice of a child, the voice of an adult, and the voice of the wall, all presumed to be in Spain. The dedication references the girl Pili, the author's wife, and Spain, for which he had a long-standing fascination.


Prior to his 2011 appointment as Poet Laureate of the United States, Philip Levine won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, the National Book Award, the Ruth Lily Prize in Poetry and the Wallace Stevens Award. The author was also named Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.


From Unicorn Press in Santa Barbara, CA, this tall 8vo volume is copy 43 of a limited edition of 50 signed in black and numbered in yellow ink by Levine on the colophon page. From a total edition of 750, the 50 numbered and signed copes are specially bound in quarter, mustard-colored, buckram cloth and buff colored, mould made paper on boards.


The cover photograph is similar to the interior black and white plates of pitting, images, and animal figures crudely carved into what appears to be a plastered or stuccoed exterior wall. All leaves unopened, fore and tail edges untrimmed. In 14-point Joanna type, set by Patti Field. Printed on buff colored, mould made paper by Rudy Villanueva. No dust jacket, as issued.


A few thin, dark marks to the paper of the back cover. Slightest bumps to the lower tips of the covers. Now in a clear, protective, acetate jacket. Clean and about Fine, this is superior verse from Levine.


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