Gerald Stern Poems
- Swan Song A bunch of old snakeheads down by the ...
- The Dancing In all these rotten shops, in all this broken ...
- Apocalypse Of all sixty of us I am the only one who went to...
- Waving Goodbye I wanted to know what it was like before ...
- The Dog What I was doing with my white teeth exposed like ...
- Another Insane Devotion This was gruesome—fighting over a ham...
- Day Of Grief I was forcing a wasp to the top of a ...
Gerald Stern (born February 22, 1925) is an American poet.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. to Harry and Ida Barach Stern (Polish and Ukrainian immigrants), he was educated in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Stern studied at the University of Pittsburgh (B.A., 1947) and Columbia University (M.A., in 1949). After receiving his undergraduate degree in English, Stern also served the United States Army Air Corps.
He did post-graduate study at the University of Paris in 1949-50 and spent his twenties living in and traveling between New York City and Europe. At that time he starts to write and publish poetry.
His work became widely recognized after the 1977 ... more »
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A bunch of old snakeheads down by the pond
carrying on the swan tradition -- hissing
inside their white bodies, raising and lowering their heads
like ostriches, regretting only the sad ritual
that forced them to waddle back into the water
after their life under the rocks, wishing they could lie again
in the sun
and dream of spreading their terrifying wings;
wishing, this time, they could sail through the sky like
their tails rigid, their white manes fluttering,
their mouths open, their sharp teeth flashing,
drops of mercy ...