The Gazer Within

The Gazer Within

by Larry Levis
     
 

The Gazer Within collects the prose of one of America's favorite poets. Refreshingly candid, laugh-out-loud funny, and, at the same time, intimate, the pieces trace Larry Levis's early years growing up on his father's farm, his decision at sixteen to become a poet, and his undergraduate experience in the days of the Vietnam War. In addition to memoir, there

Overview


The Gazer Within collects the prose of one of America's favorite poets. Refreshingly candid, laugh-out-loud funny, and, at the same time, intimate, the pieces trace Larry Levis's early years growing up on his father's farm, his decision at sixteen to become a poet, and his undergraduate experience in the days of the Vietnam War. In addition to memoir, there are critical reviews, including his seminal essay on the poet Philip Levine, and reviews of poets as diverse as W. D. Snodgrass and Zbigniew Herbert.

David St. John's foreword speaks eloquently of Levis's enduring legacy: "Of the poets of his generation, Larry Levis spoke most powerfully of what it means to be a poet at this historical moment. With the same majesty he brought to his poetry, Larry Levis engaged his readers with the most subtle and disturbing questions of the self to be found in the prose--essays, reviews or interviews--of any contemporary American poet. Broadly international in his scope and deeply personal in his reflections, Levis addressed poetic concerns that are both immediate and timeless. For many of us who struggle with these issues, Larry Levis's prose on poetry stands as some of the most capacious to be found since Randell Jarrell's."

The late Larry Levis was the author of six volumes of poetry. He was Director of the Creative Writing Program, University of Utah; Professor of English, Virginia Commonwealth University; and also taught at the Iowa Writers Workshop.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This posthumous collection of essays, reviews, and interviews reveals the poet's refreshing and affectionate take on his life and work. The "soiled brims and stained hat bands" of his early years living on a ranch in Fresno, CA, give way to academic life and studies with Donald Justice and Philip Levine; one memoir finds him driving Zbigniew Herbert around in Los Angeles in the early Seventies, and, in an interview, he dwells on "place" and poetic process. The essay "Oaxaca and the Politics of Looking" is not as archly political as the title might suggest. To Levis, writing is the enterprise of an individual working in a social medium that does not need shrill defenses or hyperanalytic insights. His notions of poetry and the poetic self whether dead center or tucked in around the edges are clear and mindful. His notions and style are poetic and sober without being strident proof that clever need not be arch. Recommended. Scott Hightower, Fordham Univ., NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780472067183
Publisher:
University of Michigan Press
Publication date:
02/16/2001
Series:
Poets on Poetry Series
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.50(d)

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