The former Poet Laureate of the United States, Nemerov gives us a lucid and precise twist on the commonplaces of everyday life.
The Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 1978.
"Howard Nemerov is a witty, urbane, thoughtful poet, grounded in the classics, a master of the craft. It is refreshing to read his work. . . . "—Minneapolis Tribune
"The world causes in Nemerov a mingled revulsion and love, and a hopeless hope is the most attractive quality in his poems, which slowly turn obverse to reverse, seeing the permanence of change, the vices of virtue, the evanescence of solidities and the errors of truth."—Helen Vendler, New York Times Book Review
Journal of the Fictive Life
Howard Nemerov University of Chicago Press, 1981 Library of Congress PS3527.E5Z47 1981 | Dewey Decimal 818.5403
"The only way out," writes Howard Nemerov, "is the way through, just as you cannot escape death except by dying. Being unable to write, you must examine in writing this being unable, which becomes for the present—henceforth?—the subject to which you are condemned." This is the record of the struggle to compose a novel; a struggle transformed by Nemerov into a far-reaching exploration of the creative process itself.
"He often shows bravery and shrewdness; the book is full of fine criticism and psychological insight. As always, his prose has that ease and transparency that make one forget one is reading; one seems simply to hear a voice speaking. Nemerov's improvised self-analysis has weaknesses, but few that he himself doesn't eventually recognize."—New York Times Book Review
"In an age of explicitness, Nemerov's Journal of the Fictive Life is explicitly without vulgarity; in an age of revelation, it reveals only what counts. More then a book about creativity, it is a beautiful creation."—Richard G. Stern
Rejoining the Common Reader is suffused with the impulse that motivates Clara Claiborne Park's distinguished writing and teaching: the desire to related literature to the experience of its readers. This humane, balanced, and entertaining book will appeal to anyone who longs to recapture the pleasure of reading for personal enrichment and to teachers of literature who have grown to resent the intrusiveness of theory and theorizing and wish to reexamine what they are doing to, for, and with their students.
Howard Nemerov—Poet Laureate of the United States, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, and Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets—was one of the most prolific and significant American poets of the twentieth century. By the time of his death in 1991, he had published fourteen collections of poetry.
Judiciously selected and introduced by poet Daniel Anderson, The Selected Poems of Howard Nemerov represents the broad spectrum of Nemerov's virtues as a poet—his intellige nce, his wit, his compassion, and his irreverence. It stands as the retrospective collection of the best of what Nemerov left behind, which is some of the finest poetry that the twentieth century produced.
“To keep his errors down to a minimum,” W. H. Auden wrote, “the internal Censor to whom a poet submits his work in progress should be a Censorate. It should include, for instance, a sensitive only child, a practical housewife, a logician, a monk, an irreverent buffoon a nd even, perhaps, hated by all others and returning their dislike, a brutal, foul-mouthed drill sergeant who considers all poetry rubbish.”
Such are the readers to whom the poetry of Howard Nemerov might appeal. He distinguished himself on the landscape of American letters as a writer of great versatility. More than a decade after his death, that claim still holds true.
In this, the only edition of Nemerov’s work that surveys his entire poetic output, first-time readers of these poems will find an introduction to a truly remarkable creative mind. Longtime admirers of Nemerov will be reminded once again of his significance as a craftsman and philosopher, and as a poetic steward of the many ways in which we experience the world.
Howard Nemerov University of Chicago Press, 1980 Library of Congress PS3527.E5S4 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
In Sentences, contemporary poet Howard Nemerov adds to his distinguished work a collection of gnomic verses, declarative poems, sonnets after other poets, and sustained lyrics.
"In [Sentences], not only has Nemerov continued to accommodate himself to the literary tradition without falling back on parody; he has also . . . extended the resources of blank verse beyond what any modern practitioner, himself included, has managed to. This extension comprises more than a mere prosodic advance; it is a rhetorical and imaginative advance. 'By Al Lebowitz's Pool,' 'The Makers,' 'Monet,' and 'A Christmas Storm,' for example, are dazzling in their very naturalness. . . . No one since Frost has done as much to move blank verse from where Wordsworth and Coleridge had left it."—Mary Kinzie, Poetry
This collection of the most beloved and brilliant poems from Howard Nemerov's fruitful career also introduces twenty-three new poems in a section entitled "Trying Conclusions." Written during his tenure as the nation's Poet Laureate, these new poems are imbued with vivid intelligence, an irreverent sense of humor, and masterful wit—trademarks of the Nemerov legacy.
Howard Nemerov has written often about wars great and small, the overtly political and the deeply personal. But only with the passage of time, a heightening of technique and deepening of insight, has he been able to write from his experience in World War II as he does here, where historical past and personal history finally dovetail. From "The War in the Heavens" to "The War in the Streets," Nemerov chronicles with devastating grace the harrowing of life.
"These new poems of Howard Nemerov are the poems of a master at his best. What is more, they are accessible. They speak out in a beautiful unclouded voice of the experience of a flyer of the Second World War. Although as 'war poems' they take their place among the best of that genre, they resonate far beyond their history with an arresting immediacy."—Karl Shapiro
"Nemerov is the poet of our sanity, his the vision of the heroic ordinary. . . . Forty years after W. W. II, Nemerov's experiences in that war translate into timeless poetry. . . . Nemerov's poetry will outlast our generation: to read it now is to take part in something of ourselves and our world that will—and should—endure."—The Virginia Quarterly Review
"Throughout all his verse, formal language sets up a proscenium, keeping sentiment at a distance. In this elegant theatre, he tells stories that always, first, are works of art."—Denise Low, Kansas City Star