Post-Modern American poetry is thematically diverse. It is distinguished by its social themes of familial relationships, class relations and the impact of memory in the United States. Class identity is a lived experience, a set of relationships, expectations, and legacies. It is a probe into social inequalities, and economic stratifications. The poetry that illuminates such experience and relationships reveals class as a shaping force. Poetry in such context tends to be a cultural expression, responsive to economic and historical changes.What culminates Philip Levine's poetry is its treatment of social justice that is galvanized by his belonging to the working class and the power of his memories towards his people's suffering. The memories of the poet echo a class-based undertone. He descends from a lower-class Russian-Jewish immigrant family who survived through difficult times and harsh circumstances. Consequently his voice, partly confessional and partly autobiographical, documents his father's efforts in bestowing a decent life upon his family and documents the suffering of the American lower class taken his father as a stereotype of his people.
Philip Levine, American labor poetry, confessional poetry, autobiographical poetry.