John Frederick Nims
Biography of John Frederick Nims
John Frederick Nims was an American poet and academic.
He graduated from DePaul University, University of Notre Dame with an M.A., and from the University of Chicago with a Ph.D. in 1945. He published reviews of the works by Robert Lowell and W. S. Merwin. He taught English at Harvard University, the University of Florence, the University of Toronto, Williams College and the University of Missouri.
He was editor of Poetry magazine from 1978 to 1984.
The John Frederick Nims Memorial Prize, for poetry translation, is awarded by the Poetry Foundation.
American Academy of Arts and Letters grant
National Foundation for the Arts and Humanities grant
Institute of the Humanities fellowship
1982 Academy of American Poets fellowship
1986 Guggenheim Fellowship
1991 Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry.
1993 O.B. Hardison Prize
John Frederick Nims's Works:
Western wind. Random House. 1992
Zany in Denim (University of Arkansas Press, 1990)
The Six-Cornered Snowflake and Other Poems. New Directions Publishing. 1990, selected for the New York Public Library's Ninety from the Nineties.
The Kiss: A Jambalaya (1982)
Selected poems. University of Chicago Press. 1982.
Knowledge of the Evening (1960), which was nominated for a National Book Award
A Fountain in Kentucky (1950
The Iron Pastoral. William Sloane Associates. 1947.
Five Young American Poets (1944)
Robert Hedin, ed. (1996). "Trainwrecked Soldiers". The great machines: poems and songs of the American railroad. University of Iowa Press.
Euripides: Four Tragedies (1958)
Sappho to Valery: Poems in Translation (1971)
Saint John of the Cross (1979). Poems of St. John of the Cross. Translator John Frederick Nims. University of Chicago Press.
Western Wind: An Introduction to Poetry (1983)
Michelangelo Buonarroti (1998). The complete poems of Michelangelo. Translator John Frederick Nims. University of Chicago Press.
John Frederick Nims, ed. (1981). The Harper anthology of poetry. Harper & Row.
Martin Lammon, ed. (1996). "The Greatest English Lyric?". Written in water, written in stone: twenty years of Poets on poetry. University of Michigan Press.
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John Frederick Nims Poems
My clumsiest dear, whose hands shipwreck vases, At whose quick touch all glasses chip and ring, Whose palms are bulls in china, burs in linen, And have no cunning with any soft thing
Madrigal In Time Of War
Beside the rivers of the midnight town Where four-foot couples love and paupers drown, Shots of quick hell we took, our final kiss,
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,
Not knowing in what season this again Not knowing when again the arms outyearning Nor the flung smile in eyes not knowing when
Seeing in crowded restaurants the one you love
This seablue fir that rode the mountain storm Is swaddled here in splints of tin to die. Sofas around in chubby velvet swarm;
If what began (look far and wide) will end: This lava globe huddle and freeze, its core
Through salt marsh, grassy channel where the shark's A rumor &mdash lean, alongside &mdash rides out boat;
The Young Ionia
If you could come on the late train for The same walk Or a hushed talk by the fireplace
Always, he woke in those days With a sense of treasure, His heart a gayer glow Than his window grand with sun,
Decline And Fall
We had a city also. Hand in hand Wandered happy as travellers our own land. Murmured in turn the hearsay of each stone
Days Of Our Years
It’s brief and bright, dear children; bright and brief. Delight’s the lightning; the long thunder’s grief.
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?