"A Primer of the Daily Round"
by Howard Nemerov

A peels an apple, while B kneels to God,
C telephones to D, who has a hand
On E's knee, F coughs, G turns up the sod
For H's grave, I do not understand
But J is bringing one clay pigeon down
While K brings down a nightstick on L's head,
And M takes mustard, N drives into town,
O goes to bed with P, and Q drops dead,
R lies to S, but happens to be heard
By T, who tells U not to fire V
For having to give W the word
That X is now deceiving Y with Z,
Who happens just now to remember A
Peeling an apple somewhere far away.

from New and Selected Poems © University of Chicago Press


Anonymous said...

I like this. Each one reading it will find something different. Of course they will--this is poetry. But for me it tells of the linkage between humans. No matter how distant or how different, we're all brothers and sisters in the end of the day. A good reminder.


Alison Ashley Formento said...

This one resonates with me, the repetitive reciter (I've got it memorized) of the Chicka-Chicka ABC book to these kids 'o mine. "A told B and B told C, meet you at the top of the coconut tree..." Poetry for the ages.

Jean said...

How wonderfully clever. I've been thinking I need to read more poetry lately. Thanks for the examples.

Anonymous said...

My hometown boy-uh, Howard! Ms. Snark, you are too cool for school.

Just when I thought the world had forgotten one of our finest Poet Laureates...


My favorite Nemerov is "Because You Asked About the Line Between Poetry and Prose." I made the kids memorize this one, I can only hope that I don't butcher it too badly.

Sparrows were feeding in a freezing drizzle

That while you watched turned into snow

Riding a gradient invisible

From silver aslant, to random white and slow

And there came a moment when you couldn't tell

And then they clearly flew instead of fell

Janny said...

I like poetry. Really, I do. I especially liked this last one.


I don't read Miss Snark's blog to read poetry. I come to Miss Snark for Snarkivicious wisdom, Snarkinsight, and Snarkinterpretation of the world at large.

If I want to read poetry, I'll go to poetry sites (or--gasp--the library!) to do it. But when I click on Miss Snark's blog and see poetry, I cringe and, generally, leave immediately.

Sorry to all the poetry buffs out there who are thinking this is great. And Her Snarkiness certainly can post whatever she wants on her blog. But I don't come here for poetry, and I'll bet most of us don't, either.

If that makes me a nitwit of the day, oh, well. Won't be the worst thing I've ever been called.

My take,

Ken Boy said...

i like
it. reminds
me of a cross
between "eleanor
rigby" and a
recent t-
v ad.