Who is Larry Levis

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

Life and work

Youth 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 his...
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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. ...
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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

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Comments about Larry Levis

Kathapollitt: poem of the day: larry levis, "elegy with a darkening trapeze inside it."
Poemakontsa: she glints she is like the screen flickering in an empty movie house far into the night. - larry levis, l.a., loiterings
Poemakontsa: i have just been ax-murdered by a larry levis beginning of spring poem on the first glimpse of rhododendrons
Poemakontsa: a larry levis on writing poetry the spider even the dark spider shines, tears at its belly and moves sideways a little on its web, swaying, while my hand on this pencil knows nothing, moves back and forth, takes hold of things, is never sorry
Poemakontsa: stunning, moving larry levis signs 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 drumming its long fingers
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Poem of the day

Eugene Field Poem
The Ballad Of The Taylor Pup
 by Eugene Field

Now lithe and listen, gentles all,
Now lithe ye all and hark
Unto a ballad I shall sing
About Buena Park.

Of all the wonders happening there
The strangest hap befell
Upon a famous Aprile morn,
...

Read complete poem

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