Biography of Howard Moss
Howard Moss (January 22, 1922 – September 16, 1987) was an American poet, dramatist and critic. He was poetry editor of The New Yorker magazine from 1948 until his death and he won the National Book Award in 1972 for Selected Poems.
Moss was born in New York City. He attended the University of Michigan, where he won a Hopwood Award. He is credited with discovering a number of major American poets, including Anne Sexton and Amy Clampitt. He was a closeted homosexual.
Howard Moss Poems
To the memory of a friend, drowned off Water Island, April, 1960 Finally, from your house, there is no view; The bay's blind mirror shattered over you
Where the Castle Is
The upkeep of the castle is The downfall of the cottages Where fishermen and peasants live Or used to live. The young men leave
The Truth About Love
It seems to have traveled at night, Supremely ironic, lighting fires, Laying golden eggs in the midst of squalor, Its outer garments, in the latest version,
You watch the night like a material Slowly being crammed into a tube of rooms; It showers into gunshot, pepper, dew, As if a hand had squeezed it at one end,
For Frances Dillon Hayward 1 Such splendid icecaps and hard rills, such weights And counter-weights, I think I scale the heights When pentatonic Chinese crewmen start
Whether it was a particular beauty Stirred the tearfall from the eyelid's rim, Rinsing the world once more with self, Was it not there the general peered,
Painting A Wave
"Painting a wave requires no system," The painter said, painting a wave. "Systems may get you flotsam and jetsam, Seaweed and so forth. But never a wave."
Notes from the Castle
The sunlight was not our concern or even The pane it shone through, and no one was going Down for the mail, and the four lettuces
1 When the loons cry, The night seems blacker, The water deeper.
Some bloodied sea-bird's hovering decay Assails us where we lie, and lie To make that symbol go away, To mock the true north of the eye.
The startling pleasures all broke down, It was her first arthritic spring. Inside her furs, her bones, secure, Suddenly became a source of pain
"Wake to the sun," the rooster croaked, First bird of the day. The world, light-flecked, Chiselled its lineaments into form.
I wove myself of many delicious strands Of violet islands and sugar-balls of thread So faintly green a small white check between Balanced the field's wide lawn, a plaid
We have the whole evening ahead of us, We think, our eyesight starting to weaken, We must have missed the houselights growing dim,
To the memory of a friend,
drowned off Water Island, April, 1960
Finally, from your house, there is no view;
The bay's blind mirror shattered over you
And Patchogue took your body like a log
The wind rolled up to shore. The senseless drowned
Have faces nobody would care to see,
But water loves those gradual erasures
Of flesh and shoreline, greenery and glass,