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The Selected Levis

Philip Levine eulogized Larry Levis by calling him ""the most gifted and determined young poet I have ever had the good fortune to have in one of my classes...His early death is a staggering loss for our poetry, but what he left is a major achievement that will enrich our lives for as long as poetry matters."" This paperback edition of The Selected Levis has been expanded to include poems from Elegy, Levis's last (and posthumous) collection. from ""At the Grave of My Guardian Angel: St. Louis Cemetery, New Orleans"" But it's all or nothing in this life; it's smallpox, quicklime, & fire. It's the extinct whitling of an infantry; it is all the faded rosettes of blood Turning into this amnesia of billboards & the ceaseless hunh? of traffic. It goes on & I go with it; it spreads into the sun & air & throws out a fast shade That will never sleep and I go with it; it breaks Lincoln & Poe into small drops of oil spreading Into endless swirls on the water, & I recognize the pattern:
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About the Author

Larry Levis (1946-1996), a native of Fresno, California, wrote six books of poetry: Wrecking Crew (1972), The Afterlife (1976), The Dollmaker's Ghost (1981), Winter Stars (1985), The Widening Spell of the Leaves (1991), and Elegy (1997).


"If I could select one book of poetry from the past year to read and read again, this is it. If I could teach only one poet to younger poets, it would be Larry Levis.... If I could describe everything poets want their poems to do, regardless of their style and intentions, I would turn to Levis's poetry, once again, and not say a word." - Ray Gonzalez, Bloomsbury Review "As his command of the poetic line widened, Levis's poetry became almost literally breathtaking, a kind of verse that spelled itself out and cast its spell in such sinewy inventive cadences that the leaves to which he referred in 'the widening spell of the leaves' might well have been those most powerfully American bits of foliage, Leaves of Grass." - Sandra M. Gilbert, Poetry

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