Sample Poems:

Howard Nemerov

At the Airport

Through the gate, where nowhere and night begin,
A hundred suddenly appear and lose
Themselves in the hot and crowded waiting room.
A hundred other herd up toward the gate,

Patiently waiting that the way be opened
To nowhere and night, while a voice recites
The intermittent litany of numbers
And the holy names of distant destinations.

None going out can be certain of getting there.
None getting there can be certain of being loved
Enough. But they are sealed in the silver tube
And lifted up to be fed and cosseted,
While their upholstered cell of warmth and light
Shatters the darkness, neither here nor there.


[Howard Nemerov, who served as the Poet Laureate of the United States, received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1978 and the Bollingen Poetry Prize in 1981. His books of poetry include The Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov (Chicago, 1977) and his posthumous collection, Trying Conclusions: New and Selected Poems 1961-1991 (Chicago, 1991). "At the Airport" is reprinted with the permission of Margaret Nemerov.]

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