Howard Nemerov image
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Born in February 29, 1920 / Died in July 5, 1991 / United States / English

Quotes by Howard Nemerov

I've thought of the last line of some poems for years and tried them out, It wouldn't work because the last line was much too beautiful for the poem.
I do insist on making what I hope is sense so there's always a coherent narrative or argument that the reader can follow.
A lot happens by accident in poetry.
We're not in love with Literature all the time - especially when you have to teach it every day.
Once in awhile you have a thought, and you rhyme it.
Shakespeare tells the same stories over and over in so many guises that it takes a long time before you notice.
When modern writers gave up telling stories, they gave up the greatest thing we had.
When Robert Frost was alive, I was known as the other new England poet, which is to be barely known at all.
I liked the kid who wrote me that he had to do a term paper on a modern poet and he was doing me because, though they say you have to read poems twice, he found he could handle mine in one try.
When I was starting to write, the great influence was T.S. Eliot and after that William Butler Yeats.
I think there was a revolution in poetry, associated chiefly with Eliot and Pound; but maybe it is of the nature of revolutions or of the nature of history that their innovations should later come to look trivial or indistinguishable from technical tricks.
When you write it doesn't occur to you that somebody could think different from what you do.
I think there's one thing which distinguishes our art - we don't consider. We don't think. We write a little verse because it comes to us.
Language is remarkable, except under the extreme constraints of mathematics and logic, it never can talk only about what it's supposed to talk about but is always spreading around.
I never abandoned either forms or freedom. I imagine that most of what could be called free verse is in my first book. I got through that fairly early.
Language cares.
The spirit world doesn't admit to communicating with me, so it's fairly even.
Occasionally a student writer comes up with something really beautiful and moving, and you won't know for years if it was an accident or the first burst of something wonderful.
It may be said that poems are in one way like icebergs: only about a third of their bulk appears above the surface of the page.
A teacher is a person who never says anything once.
The secrets of success are a good wife and a steady job. My wife told me.
I've never read a political poem that's accomplished anything. Poetry makes things happen, but rarely what the poet wants.
History is one of those marvelous and necessary illusions we have to deal with. It's one of the ways of dealing with our world with impossible generalities which we couldn't live without.
I would talk in iambic pentameter if it were easier.
I like all my children, even the squat and ugly ones.