Howard Nemerov

Howard Nemerov

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Howard Nemerov (February 29, 1920 – July 5, 1991) was an American poet. He was twice Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, from 1963 to 1964 and again from 1988 to 1990. For The Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov (1977), he won the National Book Award for Poetry, Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and Bollingen Prize.
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Fugue

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You see them vanish in their speeding cars,
The many people hastening through the world,
And wonder what they would have done
This time of time speed distance, random
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The Blue Swallows

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Across the millstream below the bridge Seven blue swallows divide the air In shapes invisible and evanescent,
Kaleidoscopic beyond the mind’s Or memory’s power to keep them there
“History is where tensions were,” “Form is the diagram of ...
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Learning by Doing

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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 grunts,
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The View From An Attic Window

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Among the high-branching, leafless boughs Above the roof-peaks of the town,
Snowflakes unnumberably come down
I watched out of the attic window The laced sway of family trees,
Intricate genealogies Whose strict, reserved gentility,
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The War In The Air

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For a saving grace, we didn't see our dead,
Who rarely bothered coming home to die But simply stayed away out there In the clean war, the war in the air
Seldom the ghosts come back bearing their tales Of hitting the earth, the incompress...
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The Vacuum

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The house is so quiet now The vacuum cleaner sulks in the corner closet,
Its bag limp as a stopped lung, its mouth Grinning into the floor, maybe at my Slovenly life, my dog-dead youth
I’ve lived this way long enough,
But when my ol...
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The host he says that all is well

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He didn't want to do it with skill,
He'd had enough of skill
If he never
Another villanelle, it would be too soon;
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The Lobster

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Here at the Super Duper, in a glass
Supplied by a rill of cold fresh
Running down a glass washboard at one
And siphoned off at the other, and
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To D— Dead By Her Own Hand

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My dear,
I wonder if before the end You ever thought about a children’s game— I’m sure you must have played it too—in which You ran along a narrow garden wall Pretending it to be a mountain ledge So steep a snowy darkness fell away On either ...
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The Brief Journey West

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By the dry road the fathers cough and spit,
This is their room
They are the ones who hung That bloody sun upon the southern wall And crushed the armored beetle to the floor
The father’s skin is seamed and dry, the map Of that wild r...
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A Life

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Innocence
In a sense
In no sense
Was that it
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The Author To His Body On Their Fifteenth Birthday 29 ii 80

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“There’s never a dull moment in the human body
”                                           —The Insight
Dear old equivocal and closest friend,
Grand Vizier to a weak bewildered king,
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Reading Pornography in Old Age

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Unbridled licentiousness with no holds barred,
Immediate and mutual lust,
In the heat, upon demand, aroused
And satisfied again, lechery unlimited
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Ozymandias II

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I met a guy I used to know, who said:"You take your '57 Karnak, now,
The model that they called their Coop de
That had the pointy rubber boobs for bumpers—You take that car, owned by a nigger
Likelier'n not, with half its chromium
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I Only Am Escaped Alone To Tell Thee

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I tell you that I see her still At the dark entrance of the hall
One gas lamp burning near her shoulder Shone also from her other side Where hung the long inaccurate glass Whose pictures were as troubled water
An immense shadow had its h...
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The Beautiful Lawn Sprinkler

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What gives it power makes it change its
At each extreme, and lean its rising
Down low, first one and then the other way;
In which exchange humility and
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