Howard Nemerov lived from 1920-1991. He was born in New York City, he graduated from Harvard in 1941, and wrote poetry as a contemporary of Robert Frost and W.H. Auden. During World War II, he served in the Royal Canadian Air Force and then in the United States Air Force. In 1946 he began teaching, and in 1947 he published his first book of poetry, "The Image and the Law". He taught at Bennington, Brandeis, and, from 1969 until he died, at Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to 13 volumes of poetry, his works include novels, stories and criticism. He was inducted into the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1977. In 1978 his "Collected Poems" was awarded both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award; in 1981 he received the Bollingen Prize. In 1988 he became America's third poet laureate.
A review in The Nation said: "Nemerov's virtues are all in fact unfashionable ones for our time: vivid intelligence, an irreverent sense of humor, a mastery of formal verse, an awareness of mystery."
Nemerov's poetry is noted for its use of traditional forms (such as iambic pentameter), its ironic and satirical bite, and its concern with the theme of mutability, which produces a pervasive tone of melancholy.
The Image and the Law (1947)
The Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov (1977)
Inside the Onion (1984)
The Melodramatists (1949)
Homecoming Game (1957)
A Commodity of Dreams (1959)-- this one is short fiction
Reflections on Poetry and Poetics (1972)
Figures of Thought (1978).
One of his poems:
Boy With Book of Knowledge