Who is Larry Levis

Larry Patrick Levis (September 30, 1946 – May 8, 1996) was an American poet.

Life and workYouth and education Larry Levis was born the son of a grape grower; he grew up driving a tractor, picking grapes, and pruning vines in Selma, California, a small fruit-growing town in the San Joaquin Valley. He later wrote of the farm, the vineyards, and the Mexican migrant workers that he worked alongside. He also remembered hanging out in the local billiards parlor on Selma's East Front Street, across from the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks.

Levis earned a bachelor's degree from Fresno State College in 1968, where he studied under Philip Levine. For Levine's classes and poetry workshops, Levis completed many of the poems that would appear in hi...
Read Full Biography

Larry Levis Poems

  • As It Begins With A Brush Stroke On A Snare Drum
    The plaza was so still in that moment two years ago that
    everything was clear,
    As if it had been preserved beneath a kind of lacquered
    stillness, &, for a while, ...
  • Elegy With A Chimneysweep Falling Inside It
    Those twenty-six letters filling the blackboard
    Compose the dark, compose
    The illiterate summer sky & its stars as they appear
  • Anastasia & Sandman
    The brow of a horse in that moment when
    The horse is drinking water so deeply from a trough
    It seems to inhale the water, is holy.
  • Elegy With A Bridle In Its Hand
    One was a bay cowhorse from Piedra & the other was a washed out palomino
    And both stood at the rail of the corral & both went on aging
    In each effortless tail swish, the flies rising, then congregating again
  • Childhood Ideogram
    I lay my head sideways on the desk,
    My fingers interlocked under my cheekbones,
    My eyes closed. It was a three-room schoolhouse,
    White, with a small bell tower, an oak tree. ...
Read All Poems

Top 10 most used topics by Larry Levis

Away 11 Night 11 Beneath 10 Long 10 Black 8 Sky 8 Wind 8 Dark 8 Hear 8 Light 8

Larry Levis Quotes

Read All Quotes

Comments about Larry Levis

  • Issekinicho: miss having a porch and a lilac bush yet sitting in my car, windows down, door open, one sprig of parking lot lilac in the cupholder, works too. and i just now came across "idle horse thieves, & pale lilacs used / to cure the insane" while comfort-reading larry levis. long week.
  • Jstanfordowen: i'm pretty sure larry levis memorized all of his poems.
  • Croess4: well, i’ve been working outside in the yard most of the day & thinking about the poetry of larry levis who passed from this earth (syllable) a quarter century ago today (may 8, 1996)
  • Saeedtavanaee: the only surviving son of jesus christ was karl marx. larry levis elegy with a darkening trapeze inside it
  • Mattwimberley: “if there were messages or signs, i might hear now a voice tell me to walk forever, to ask the mold for pardon, and one by one i would hear out my sins, hear they are not important—that i am part of this rain” — larry levis, september 30 1946-may 8, 1996
Read All Comments

Write your comment about Larry Levis

Poem of the day

Carl Sandburg Poem
Baby Toes
 by Carl Sandburg

There is a blue star, Janet,
Fifteen years- ride from us,
If we ride a hundred miles an hour.

There is a white star, Janet,
Forty years- ride from us,
If we ride a hundred miles an hour.


Read complete poem

Popular Poets