John Frederick Nims
John Frederick Nims was an American poet and academic.
He graduated from DePaul University, University of Notre Dame with an M.A., and from the University of Chicago with a Ph.D. in 1945. He published reviews of the works by Robert Lowell and W. S. Merwin. He taught English at Harvard University, the University of Florence, the University of Toronto, Williams College and the University of Missouri.
He was editor of Poetry magazine from 1978 to 1984.
The John Frederick Nims Memorial Prize, for poetry translation, is awarded by the Poetry Foundation.
American Academy of Arts and Letters grant
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John Frederick Nims Poems
My clumsiest dear, whose hands shipwreck vases, At whose quick touch all glasses chip and ring, Whose palms are bulls in china, burs in linen, And have no cunning with any soft thing
Madrigal In Time Of War
Beside the rivers of the midnight town Where four-foot couples love and paupers drown, Shots of quick hell we took, our final kiss,
Crude seeing’s all our joy: could we discern The cold dark infinite vast where atoms burn —Lone suns—in flesh, our treasure and our play,
Not knowing in what season this again Not knowing when again the arms outyearning Nor the flung smile in eyes not knowing when
Seeing in crowded restaurants the one you love
This seablue fir that rode the mountain storm Is swaddled here in splints of tin to die. Sofas around in chubby velvet swarm;
If what began (look far and wide) will end: This lava globe huddle and freeze, its core
Through salt marsh, grassy channel where the shark's A rumor &mdash lean, alongside &mdash rides out boat;
The Young Ionia
If you could come on the late train for The same walk Or a hushed talk by the fireplace
Always, he woke in those days With a sense of treasure, His heart a gayer glow Than his window grand with sun,
Decline And Fall
We had a city also. Hand in hand Wandered happy as travellers our own land. Murmured in turn the hearsay of each stone
Days Of Our Years
It’s brief and bright, dear children; bright and brief. Delight’s the lightning; the long thunder’s grief.
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
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(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
My clumsiest dear, whose hands shipwreck vases,
At whose quick touch all glasses chip and ring,
Whose palms are bulls in china, burs in linen,
And have no cunning with any soft thing
Except all ill-at-ease fidgeting people:
The refugee uncertain at the door
You make at home; deftly you steady
The drunk clambering on his undulant floor.
Unpredictable dear, the taxi drivers' terror,
Shrinking from far headlights pale as a dime
Yet leaping before apopleptic streetcars—
Misfit in any space. And never on time.
A wrench in clocks and the solar ...