A reissuing of The Afterlife, poetry by Larry Levis....
|Number of Pages||:||64 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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The Afterlife Reviews
As poet, Larry Levis excels at whittling away at everyday things until they reveal something strange and exciting, like in these lines from "A Poem of Horses":You go further into the blank paper.You go past the white smirk of the benign.You find the dark trousers of your father,The hairpins of your mother.This sifting action of discovery is explored thematically throughout, forming a lyrical arc in the book that is ultimately celebrated as an aspect of mourning. "This is a good page./ It is blank,/ and getting blanker."I love the uncanny bursts/ruptures of this discovery process like when he writes in "Signs":All night I dreamed of my home,of the roads that are so longand straight they die in the middle-among the spines of elderly weedson either side, among dead cats,the ants who are all eyes, the suitcasethrown open, sprouting failures.In lines like this, it almost seems as though Levis is sanding down the whiteness of the page until the black ridges of the letters and words surface.
I loved The Afterlife, more than I first thought I would. I started it and was disappointed by the lack of long operatic poems and surreal mysticism to the extent of The Darkening Trapeze: Last Poems, but my hope for the book ended up being more than fulfilled. I didn't adore this collection to the same overwhelming degree as his much later collection, but I was still drawn in and drawn along by Levis's work.The poems in this collection were personal (although not necessarily confessional) and move between the simple and the magic effortlessly, like in "Delwyn Creed":He is swallowing beerin the frozen vineyardhe uproots and burns--clearing land for tract homes.2. His SonEyes gleaming like something stolen,he sneers at me and at the slick rivercarrying shoe leather on its back.On methedrine he doodleshalos, snakes, stars.He dreams of making a coat,of hunting alone above timberlineuntil he spits blood, and goes onthanking no one, goes pastthe ice inventing itself.or "Waking":You could hear someone arguingabout money, a man and his wife.You could hear them closing the little jailsNo one would enter or sweep.My favorite poem in the whole collection was section 3, "The Rain's Witness: Linnets 1-12" which is a personal and sweeping poem with moments like "In Illinois on bridge is made entirely / of dead linnets. When the river sings under them, / their ruffled feathers turn large and black," and Your brother grows into a stranger.He walks into town in the rain.Two gold feathers behind his ear.He is too indifferent to wave.He buys all the rain ahead of him,and sells all the silence behind him. I also especially liked "The Witness", "Inventing the Toucan," "The Map," "Waking," "Readings in French," and "A Poem of Horses", but there was no poem in the book that I disliked.
"But I am still afraid to move,afraid to speak,as if I lived in a housewallpapered with the cries of birdsI cannot identify."- from "Rhododendrons"