Storm Windows

By Howard Nemerov 1920–1991 Howard Nemerov
People are putting up storm windows now,   
Or were, this morning, until the heavy rain   
Drove them indoors. So, coming home at noon,   
I saw storm windows lying on the ground,   
Frame-full of rain; through the water and glass
I saw the crushed grass, how it seemed to stream   
Away in lines like seaweed on the tide
Or blades of wheat leaning under the wind.
The ripple and splash of rain on the blurred glass   
Seemed that it briefly said, as I walked by,   
Something I should have liked to say to you,
Something ... the dry grass bent under the pane   
Brimful of bouncing water ... something of   
A swaying clarity which blindly echoes
This lonely afternoon of memories
And missed desires, while the wintry rain   
(Unspeakable, the distance in the mind!)
Runs on the standing windows and away.

Howard Nemerov, “Storm Windows” from The Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1977). Copyright © 1977 by Howard Nemerov. Reprinted with the permission of Margaret Nemerov.

Source: The Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov (The University of Chicago Press, 1977)

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Poet Howard Nemerov 1920–1991

Subjects Home Life, Weather, Relationships, Nature

Poetic Terms Blank Verse

 Howard  Nemerov

Biography

Howard Nemerov was a highly acclaimed poet often cited for the range of his capabilities and subject matter, "from the profound to the poignant to the comic," James Billington remarked in his frequently quoted announcement of Nemerov's appointment to the post of United States poet laureate. A distinguished professor at Washington University in St. Louis from 1969 to 1990, Nemerov wrote poetry and fiction that managed to engage . . .

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SUBJECT Home Life, Weather, Relationships, Nature

Poetic Terms Blank Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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