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Howard Nemerov

Autumn 1941

Notes on a New England Winter

By Howard Nemerov

I. From the cold streets of CambridgeThe lapis and basalt of St. Paul’sMakes disturbing division, a goldenAnd Byzantine disarray. Hath notSome golden Paleologus of the City CouncilOrdained this disorderly splendor?Jumbled […]

Summer 1986

To Dante

By Howard Nemerov

To write an epic with an all-star cast,Even the extras somebodies in their day,To have for theme the whole of historyWith plenty to spare, to finish all that upBy falling […]

Summer 1986

Theater of the Absurd

By Howard Nemerov

How strange the movie in the lonesome cave, Whereat the helpless, unprovided man, Lying as dead, does nothing on his own Yet is responsible for all that’s done, Inventing the […]

Summer 1986

Two-Person/Zero-Sum

By Howard Nemerov

The serious boy playing himself at chess Always contrives to win, but subtly enough That his obliging loser across the board Will never realize what made him make The plausible […]

Summer 1983

Marvell

By Howard Nemerov

Slow, dear Marvell? Vegetables are slow?Your mistress may be, empires surely are,Even love, given a millennial Reich to grow. But here it isn’t August yet, and yetThe painted gourd’s already […]

Summer 1983

First Light

By Howard Nemerov

Only for wanting to see the world made new In every weather, growing its colors again Out of the brown, grey, black, the muted flowers In Lennahan’s garden beginning to […]

Summer 1964

Summer’s Elegy

By Howard Nemerov

Day after day, day after still day, The summer has begun to pass away. Starlings at twilight fly clustered and call, And branches bend, and leaves begin to fall. The […]

Summer 1964

Interiors

By Howard Nemerov

Small flame pointing, shadowing, picking out Black lacquer, bronze, blue velvet, a tassel That sweeps the chequered floor. God of battles, Bless these Thy banners. Smoke and the smell of […]

Spring 1964

Learning by Doing

By Howard Nemerov

“constructive technological destructiveness”—Marcuse, Eros & Civilization They're taking down a tree at the front door, The power saw is snarling at some nerves, Whining at others. Now and then it […]

Summer 1957

A Delayed Hearing

By Howard Nemerov

Miss Mindhart’s taste in personal adornment, Mrs. Haxton’s taste in religions, these may be said to have done the damage. Miss Mindenhart, a large, greying woman who may once have […]

Spring 1957

The Morality of Art

By Howard Nemerov

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. Two Volumes. Olympia Press, Paris, France. My Poor Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov. Doubleday. $3.50. My Admiration for the writings of Vladimir Nabokov began in college, when […]

Winter 1956

Just a Good Poet

By Howard Nemerov

Collected Poems, 1955 by Robert Graves. Doubleday. $4.50. The dominant criticism of the day is a criticism which explains things; it seems to have appeared as a response to a […]

Summer 1955

A Wild Civility

By Howard Nemerov

Collected Poems by Stephen Spender. Random House. $4.00. Selected Poems by Randall Jarrell. Knopf. $4.00. The Shield Of Achilles by W. H. Auden. Random House. $3.00. In taking Herrick’s phrase […]

Summer 1955

Tradition

By Howard Nemerov

Below the village of Ravensburg, at the edge of the woods and facing the swampy bottom lands that spread to the river, old Mr. Birch had his cabin where he […]

Winter 1955

Sansom’s Fictions

By Howard Nemerov

The Passionate North by William Sansom. Harcourt Brace. $3.50. Something Terrible, Something Lovely by William Sansom. Harcourt Brace. $3.50. A Bed Of Roses by William Sansom. Harcourt Brace. $3.50. Here […]

Winter 1954

Three in One

By Howard Nemerov

The Waking. Poems: 1933-1953 by Theodore Roethke. Doubleday. $3.00.Poems 1940-1953 by Karl Shapiro. Random House. $3.00.Collected Poems by Yvor Winters. Denver: Alan Swallow, 1952. $3.50. Three Collections, the work of […]

Summer 1953

The Generation of Violence

By Howard Nemerov

The Collected Poems Of Dylan Thomas. New Directions. $3.75. The idea, the not altogether clear and distinct idea, that poetry should be “organic,” seeks to emphasize this distinction between writing […]

Winter 1950

Poets in the Dark

By Howard Nemerov

Live Another Day by John Ciardi. Twayne. $2.00. Selected Poems by Elizabeth Daryush. Swallow Press. $2.50. Address To The Living by John Holmes. Twayne. $2.50. The Wind Of Time by […]

Summer 1948

The Poets

By Howard Nemerov

Noah And The Waters by C. Day Lewis. Transatlantic Arts Inc. $2.00. A Way Of Happening by Ruth Herschherger. Pellegrini & Cudahy. $2.00. A Man In Midpassage by Norman Macleod. […]