Howard Nemerov Poems
- September, The First Day Of Sc... I My child and I hold ...
- Because You Asked About The Li...
- A Life Innocence? In a sense. In no sense!
- Learning The Trees Before you can learn the trees, you have ...
- The Goose Fish On the long shore, lit by the moon To show ...
- Learning By Doing They're taking down a tree at the front ...
- Insomnia I Some nights it's bound to be your best way ...
Howard Nemerov was an American poet. He was twice appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1963 to 1964, and again from 1988 to 1990. He received the National Book Award, Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and Bollingen Prize for The Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov. He was brother to photographer Diane Nemerov Arbus and father to art historian Alexander Nemerov, Professor of the History of Art and American Studies at Yale University.
Born on leap day in New York City, his parents were David Nemerov and Gertrude. His younger sister was the photographer Diane Arbus. The elder Nemerov's talents and interests extended to art ... more »
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Quotationsmore quotations »
''I've never read a political poem that's accomplished anything. Poetry makes things happen, but rarely what the poet wants.''Howard Nemerov (1920-1991), U.S. poet, novelist, critic. International Herald Tribune (Paris, October 14, 1988).
Both poet and painter want to reach the silence behind the language, the silence within the language. Both painter and poet want their work to shine not only in daylight but (by whatever illusionist m...Howard Nemerov (1920-1991), U.S. poet, novelist, critic. "On Poetry and Painting, with a Thought of Music," Figures of Thought: Speculations on the Me...
''Religion and science both profess peace (and the sincerity of the professors is not being doubted), but each always turns out to have a dominant part in any war that is going or contemplated.''Howard Nemerov (1920-1991), U.S. poet, novelist, critic. "On the Resemblances Between Science and Religion," Figures of Thought: Speculations on the M...
''Obvious enough that generalities work to protect the mind from the great outdoors; is it possible that this was in fact their first purpose?''Howard Nemerov (1920-1991), U.S. poet, novelist, critic. "Reflexions of the Novelist Felix Ledger," sct. C, Journal of the Fictive Life (1965).
The only way out is the way through, just as you cannot escape from death except by dying. Being unable to write, you must examine in writing this being unable, which becomes for the presenthenc...Howard Nemerov (1920-1991), U.S. poet, novelist, critic. "Reflexions of the Novelist Felix Ledger," sct. B, Journal of the Fictive Life (1965).
September, The First Day Of School
My child and I hold hands on the way to school,
And when I leave him at the first-grade door
He cries a little but is brave; he does
Let go. My selfish tears remind me how
I cried before that door a life ago.
I may have had a hard time letting go.
Each fall the children must endure together
What every child also endures alone:
Learning the alphabet, the integers,
Three dozen bits and pieces of a stuff
So arbitrary, so peremptory,
That worlds invisible and visible
Bow down before it, as in Joseph's dream
The sheaves bowed down and then the...