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Today's poem is "Justice"
from American Sonnets

W. W. Norton & Company

Gerald Stern is the author of twelve previous books of poetry, most reently Last Blue (Norton, 2000). Among his many honors are the Lamont Prize, the National Book Award, a Guggenheim fellowship, three NEA awards, a fellowship from the Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Ruth Lilly Prize. Stern taught at the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa until his retirement in 1995, and has served as a member of the faculty at Columbia University, New York University, Sarah Lawrence College, and the University of Pittsburgh.

"Stern writes as if he had to take note of every single thing in the world."
—Philadelphia Inquirer

About American Sonnets:

In his thirteenth collection, the 1998 National Book Award winner in Poetry presents us with fifty-nine "Stern Sonnets," twenty or so lines rather than the traditional fourteen. Using the events of his life as starting points, Stern moves from the personal to the mystic as he takes on or is taken over by critical or amusing or revealing moments. "I felt," he says, "like an archaeologist. I bent to a task that had the earnestness and seriousness of a dig."

In revisiting his past, Stern deals with time and loss, with the dichotomy of light and darkness, and—always—with the possibility of joy. These are poems of a personality immersed in life, passionately involved with the self and the self in the world.

"Gerald Stern is a romantic with a sense of humor, an Orphic voice living inside history, a sometimes comic, sometimes tragic visionary...[helping] us to live in the world as it is, converting our losses, transforming death and sadness into singing."
—Edward Hirsch



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