"How can I put it? It’s like winning the Pulitzer,” he explained. “If you take it too seriously, you’re an idiot. But if you look at the names of the other poets who have won it, most of them are damn good. Not all of them — I’m not going to name names — but most. My editor was thrilled, and my wife jumped for joy. She hasn’t done that in a while.”
Here's a sample of one of his earlier poems:
On the Edge
My name is Edgar Poe and I was born
in 1928 in Michigan.
Nobody gave a damn. The gruel I ate
Kept me alive, nothing kept me warm,
But I grew up, almost to five foot ten,
And nothing in the world can change my weight.
I have been watching you these many years,
There in the office, pencil poised and ready,
Or on the highway when you went ahead.
I did not write; I watched you watch the stars
Believing that the wheel of fate was steady;
I was you rise from love and go to bed;
I heard you lie, even to you daughter.
I did not write, for I am Edgar Poe,
Edgar the mad one, silly, drunk, unwise,
But Edgar waiting on the edge of laughter,
And there is nothing that he does not know
Whose page is blanker than the raining skies.
More samples of Levine's work are available at the NYTimes online. The Pollard also has a few of his books available to checkout.