. . . I always give the same advice. I say, Do it the hard way,
and you'll always feel good about yourself. You write
because you have to, and you get this unbelievable satisfaction
from doing it well. Try to live on that as long as you're able.
Don't kiss anyone's ass. . . .
~ Poet Philip Levine___________________________
Quoted from Mona Simpson, "Philip Levine, The Art of Poetry No. 39" (Interview), The Paris Review, Summer 1988
Philip Levine was 40 when his first collection was published. It is worth noting that he also says in the Paris Review interview, "But to be utterly honest, I think if something hadn't happened about then I might have become a very bitter man. It was getting to me. . . ."