Larry Levis

(1946 - 1996 / California / United States)

Larry Levis
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Larry Levis was born in Fresno, California, on September 30, 1946. The son of a grape grower, he grew up driving a tractor, picking grapes, and pruning vines of 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 (now California State University, Fresno) in 1968. He went on to earn a master's degree from Syracuse University in 1970 and a Ph.D. from the University ... more »

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Comments about Larry Levis

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  • Rookie Maxine Cassin (7/31/2005 7:40:00 AM)

    Who published Larry Levis?

    The first poem (Anastasia.....) is quite remarkable. Only a major poet could sustain something of this length and complexity.

    Surely Levis has a following. Yet, as a poet who has been writing and publishing for many years, I have never heard of him! (Until now, thanks to one of your members.)

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Best Poem of Larry Levis

The Poem You Asked For

My poem would eat nothing.
I tried giving it water
but it said no,

worrying me.
Day after day,
I held it up to the llight,

turning it over,
but it only pressed its lips
more tightly together.

It grew sullen, like a toad
through with being teased.
I offered it money,

my clothes, my car with a full tank.
But the poem stared at the floor.
Finally I cupped it in

my hands, and carried it gently
out into the soft air, into the
evening traffic, wondering how

to end things between us.
For ...

Read the full of The Poem You Asked For

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