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Last year marked the prodigal return for me to poetry after 20 years of wandering the desert of life and artistic pursuits. I picked up the copy of “Winter Stars” by Larry Levis (a protégé of my idol Philip Levine) that I purchased years ago but never got around to reading. I started reading and was overwhelmed. Not just touched by the poetry but physically overcome. I had never experienced that before in such a way. It was like a panic attack – my heart quickened alarmingly, I became flush and light-headed and literally couldn’t continue to the next poem because I actually feared for my life. I wrote this poem shortly after to try and capture what I experienced. Of course, no poet can capture that translation perfectly – that would be a kind of cosmic heresy. But here is my attempt, in some small way, to fly too close to the sun.”Larry Levis' Winter Stars