Levine's new collection of poems (his first since The Simple
Truth was awarded the Pulitzer Prize) is a book of journeys: the
necessary ones that each of us takes from innocence to experience, from
youth to age, from confusion to clarity, from sanity to madness and back
again, from life to death, and occasionally from defeat to triumph. The
book's mood is best captured in the closing lines of the title poem,
which takes its name from the ship that brought the poet's mother to
A nine-year-old girl travels
all night by train with one suitcase and an orange.
She learns that mercy is something you can eat
again and again while the juice spills over
your chin, you can wipe it away with the back
of your hands and you can never get enough.