Howard Nemerov

(29 February 1920 – 5 July 1991 / New York City, New York)

The Host, He Says That All Is Well - Poem by Howard Nemerov

He didn't want to do it with skill,
He'd had enough of skill. If he never saw
Another villanelle, it would be too soon;
And the same went for sonnets. If it had been
Hard work learning to rime, it would be much
Harder learning not to. The time came
He had to ask himself, what did he want?
What did he want when he began
That idiot fiddling with the sounds of things.

He asked himself, poor moron, because he had
Nobody else to ask. The others went right on
Talking about form, talking about myth
And the (so help us) need for a modern idiom;
The verseballs among them kept counting syllables.

So there he was, this forty-year-old teen-ager
Dreaming preposterous mergers and divisions
Of vowels like water, consonants like rock
(While everybody kept discussing values
And the need for values) , for words that would
Enter the silence and be there as a light.
So much coffee and so many cigarettes
Gone down the drain, gone up in smoke,
Just for the sake of getting something right
Once in a while, something that could stand
On its own flat feet to keep out windy time
And the worm, something that might simply be,
Not as the monument in the smoky rain
Grimly endures, but that would be
Only a moment's inviolable presence,
The moment before disaster, before the storm,
In its peculiar silence, an integer
Fixed in the middle of the fall of things,
Perfected and casual as to a child's eye
Soap bubbles are, and skipping stones.


Comments about The Host, He Says That All Is Well by Howard Nemerov

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (3/14/2018 1:46:00 AM)


    Such an interesting write by Howard Nemerov👍👍👍 (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (3/14/2017 11:47:00 PM)


    'Soap bubbles are the skipping stones. Wonderful inference. Congrats on modern poet of the Day. (Report) Reply

  • Anil Kumar Panda (3/14/2017 10:13:00 AM)


    I like the poem with its message. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • (3/14/2017 6:05:00 AM)


    a thought provoking write that worms it's way into ones? ....... brain! (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (3/14/2017 6:04:00 AM)


    Poor moron! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Geeta Radhakrishna Menon (3/14/2017 2:43:00 AM)


    So there he was, this forty-year-old teen-ager
    Dreaming preposterous mergers and divisions
    Of vowels like water, consonants like rock.
    An interesting poem with soap bubbles and skipping stones.
    Enjoyed reading it.
    (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (3/14/2017 1:54:00 AM)


    Something that could stand..... thanks for sharing.... (Report) Reply

  • Lantz Pierre (3/14/2017 1:31:00 AM)


    Verseballs of PoemHunter.com take note: you have been called to task. Take your fingers out of your ears, or out of your arseholes, open your eyes with wonder and worry whether you have a thought in your head with enough substance that it may be polished and perfected with the hard abrasive of applied rigor to bring awe and amazement to the life of another. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 15, 2010

Poem Edited: Wednesday, February 29, 2012


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