Feature > Poetry > Gerald Stern
Gerald Stern

Gerald Stern

Gerald Stern was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1925. He is the author of 15 books of poetry, including, most recently, Save the Last Dance (Norton, 2008) and Everything is Burning (Norton, 2005), as well as This Time: New and Selected Poems (Norton), which won the 1998 National Book Award. The paperback of his personal essays titled What I Can't Bear Losing, was published in the fall of 2009 by Trinity University Press. He was awarded the 2005 Wallace Stevens Award by the Academy of American Poets and is currently a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. He is retired from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop. Early Collected: Poems from 1965-1992 was published by W.W. Norton in the spring of 2010.

Thoreau's Metaphor

—for dear Steve
His metaphor was of the white maples yielding
sugar and what the sugar camp was like
and the sumac sprouts;

and of twigs wrapped in the daintiest packages
and freight paid.

Mine is of the policeman following me in Beechview
thirty years ago from street to street up
one steep hill and down another, my car going
slower and slower, stopping once even for a second
so I could look at a piece of paper and circle
back to where I started with the dead bird I smelled in the woods.

Mine is of the dead bird.


Stephen Dunn

Poets in Person:
Stephen Dunn


Stephen Dunn
5 New Poems

Book Review

David Rigsbee reviews
Stephen Dunn's new book
Here and Now