Blind Joy

By John Frederick Nims 1913–1999
Crude seeing’s all our joy: could we discern   
The cold dark infinite vast where atoms burn   
—Lone suns—in flesh, our treasure and our play,   
Who’d dare to breathe this fern-thick bird-rich day?

John Frederick Nims, “Blind Joy” from Selected Poems (Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 1982). Used by permission of Bonnie Nims.

Source: Selected Poems (The University of Chicago Press, 1982)

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Poet John Frederick Nims 1913–1999

Subjects Time & Brevity, Living

Poetic Terms Epigram, Couplet

 John Frederick Nims


An important translator and previous editor of Poetry magazine, John Frederick Nims (1913—1999) was equally skilled as a poet. Although Nims was born in Michigan, he spent most of his life on the other side of the lake, in Chicago. Generally a classicist in technique, Nims is also well known for his witty epigrams.

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SUBJECT Time & Brevity, Living

Poetic Terms Epigram, Couplet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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