Today's poem is "Winter Mantel"
from Shackamaxon

Truman State University Press

David Livewell grew up in the Kensington section of North Philadelphia. He works as an editor in Philadelphia and has taught poetry courses at La Salle University. His poems have appeared in Poetry, Threepenny Review, Yale Review, and other journals, and in his book, Woven Light: Poems and Photographs from Andrew Wyeth’s Pennsylvania. He was one of the founding editors of Janus: A Journal of Literature and has been the recipient of a New Jersey State Council on the Arts Poetry Fellowship. He lives with his wife and two children in New Jersey.

Books by David Livewell:

Other poems on the web by David Livewell:
"Stickball at St. Mike's"

David Livewell's Website.

About Shackamaxon:

"David Livewell has an affectionate way of collecting his thoughts, the poems’ impulses, his personal and shared history. In the book’s beginning he collects 'Philly Things': at the summation he and his loved ones collect together. He writes with a formal 'at-homeness,' with classic rhythm he warms with imagery of the environment he shares with local and national history. Wasps on a baseball diamond, 'flame-cast shadows' singeing walls: Livewell’s poems glisten with surprises of light. Through listing the abundance of his interests, he concludes, 'The breathtaking and painstaking are one.' It is a book of marvelous acceptance."
—Sandra McPherson

"David Livewell has stared into the heart of old Philadelphia neighborhoods—into their history, into their ruin, into their resilience—and seen a whole world. He writes with grit and grace. The past is his passion, and he suffers its extremes in poems that can blaze or glow or sear—but are always real poems, poems whose warmth one wants to hold one’s hands up to again and again."
—J. D. McClatchy

"I’m glad that David Livewell’s fine poems are achieving a deserved recognition."
—Richard Wilbur

"David Livewell’s poems are as sharp-edged, bright, and lyrical as cut crystal. There is something both tough-minded and tender about this work, which is so admirably concise and yet so resonant. Livewell can evoke a complicated life in a dozen perfect lines or summon a snowy evening from childhood fragrant with loss. This fine book reveals a poet of deep feeling and exquisite skill."
—Dana Gioia

"Emerson told us 'America is a poem in our eyes.' David Livewell presents a vision different from Emerson’s or Whitman’s transcendentalism—'Come breathe again the fumes of factories, / the yeast and hops of Ortlieb’s brewery / wafting toward the rancid river.' Yet there are moments of elevation; 'Each treetop blazed a headdress through the air;' and his grandfather's lens 'Shot a celestial power through a man / And turned mere light into eternal flame.' On a wartime sailor’s peacoat bought in a thrift shop, 'Surely the anchor buttons / weighed at his homesick heart.' Here is a very personal, identifiable outlook on gritty city life. Livewell’s memories of 'where the past and present intertwine' present surprisingly ordinary subjects, a pencil sharpener, an old rotary telephone, a doctor’s sterilizer. All is not grim, though; here, too, are poems of tenderness (a sonnet, 'Lines Against Dyeing') and of love for his young children. This is a memorable collection, well worthy of the T. S. Eliot Prize."
—Daniel Hoffman

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