Information about the poet.
Early Collected Poems gathers the poems from the first six books of Gerald Stern’s body of work. A master poet, Stern has sought new language for the overlooked, neglected, and unseen facets of human experience. Whether writing about modern poets, Hebrew prophets, death, war, or love, “Stern’s literary songs are sharp, surprising, and unerring in their delivery” (Ploughshares, Editor’s Choice).
The coal has taken over, the red coal
is burning between us and we are at its mercy—
as if a power is finally dominating
the two of us; as if we’re huddled up…[more]
An exhilarating new collection by the poet often applauded as the modern Walt Whitman. “For over two decades,” the Library Journal has said, “no one has equaled Gerald Stern’s compassionate, surreal parables about the burden of and the exaltation of being alive.” The poems in this substantial volume, the majority of which are no longer available in other editions, have been selected from seven previous collections (1972-1995). Along with favorite poems redeemed, Stern offers a generous array of new poems, including moving tributes to Larry Levis, “Eggshell,” and Allen Ginsberg, “Lilacs for Ginsberg.”
Fifty-nine “Stern sonnets” of twenty or so lines from the 1998 National Book Award winner. This stunning collection moves from autobiography to the visionary in surges of memory and language that draw the reader from one poem to the next. “I was taken over by the writing of these poems,” Stern says.
“Stern is one of those rare poetic souls who makes it almost impossible to remember what our world was like before his poetry came to exalt it.”—C. K. Williams