Thursday, 3 March 2011

Howard Nemerov

Howard Nemerov was the brother of Diane Arbus, but is equally famous as a poet, a Poet Laureate of the USA and a Pulitzer Prize winner. Following the death by suicide of Diane he wrote:

To D-, Dead by Her Own Hand

My dear, I wonder if before the end
You ever thought about a children’s game—
I’m sure you must have played it too—in which  
You ran along a narrow garden wall  
Pretending it to be a mountain ledge  
So steep a snowy darkness fell away  
On either side to deeps invisible;
And when you felt your balance being lost
You jumped because you feared to fall, and thought  
For only an instant: That was when I died. 
That was a life ago. And now you’ve gone,
Who would no longer play the grown-ups’ game  
Where, balanced on the ledge above the dark,  
You go on running and you don’t look down,  
Nor ever jump because you fear to fall.

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