Gerald Stern (born February 22, 1925) is an American poet.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. to Harry and Ida Barach Stern (Polish and Ukrainian immigrants), he was educated in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Stern studied at the University of Pittsburgh (B.A., 1947) and Columbia University (M.A., in 1949). After receiving his undergraduate degree in English, Stern also served the United States Army Air Corps.
He did post-graduate study at the University of Paris in 1949-50 and spent his twenties living in and traveling between New York City and Europe. At that time he starts to write and publish poetry.
His work became widely recognized after the 1977 ... more »
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Gerald Stern Poems
Of all sixty of us I am the only one who went to the four corners though I don't say it out of pride but more like a type of regret, and I did it because there was no one I truly believed
A bunch of old snakeheads down by the pond carrying on the swan tradition -- hissing inside their white bodies, raising and lowering their heads like ostriches, regretting only the sad ritual
In all these rotten shops, in all this broken furniture and wrinkled ties and baseball trophies and coffee pots I have never seen a post-war Philco with the automatic eye
I wanted to know what it was like before we had voices and before we had bare fingers and before we had minds to move us through our actions and tears to help us over our feelings,
What I was doing with my white teeth exposed like that on the side of the road I don't know, and I don't know why I lay beside the sewer
Another Insane Devotion
This was gruesome—fighting over a ham sandwich with one of the tiny cats of Rome, he leaped on my arm and half hung on to the food and half hung on to my shirt and coat. I tore it apart
Comments about Gerald Stern
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
Of all sixty of us I am the only one who went
to the four corners though I don't say it
out of pride but more like a type of regret,
and I did it because there was no one I truly believed
in though once when I climbed the hill in Skye
and arrived at the rough tables I saw the only other
elder who was a vegetarian--in Scotland--
and visited Orwell and rode a small motorcycle
to get from place to place; and I immediately
stopped eating fish and meat and lived on soups;
and we wrote each other in the middle and late fifties
though one day I got a letter from his...