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Nemerovs contribution to our literature--as a gifted writer of fiction and critical prose but pre-eminently as a poet-- does not seem to me to have received as much celebrity as it deserves Nemerovs virtues are all in fact unfashionable ones for our time vivid intelligence an irreverent sense of humor a mastery of formal verse an awareness of mystery Books 3 Although known primarily as a poet Howard Nemerov has also distinguished himself as a critic short story writer and novelist With nearly four dozen published works Howard Nemerov has become one of Americas most distinguished men of writing His subjects range from all parts of the human mind from war to religion and death to natureNemerov was born on March 1 1920 in New York City Until he moved to Vermont in 1948 New York influenced most of his poems Nemerovs wealthy and culturally refined parents sent him to Fieldston School At this private school Nemerov was an impeccable student and a strong athlete After graduating in 1937 he went to Harvard where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree At the start of World War II Nemerov became attracted to the air force However like all poets this attraction gradually grew into terror at the reality of war Nemerov 249 Nemerov first served as a flying officer with the RAF Coastal Command attacking German ships over the North Sea Then in 1944 he was transferred to the Eighth United States Army Air Force based in Lincolnshire Later he served in a unit of the Royal Canadian Air Force attached to the United States Air Force In 1944 he married an English girl to whom hes still married After the war Nemerov and his wife lived in New York for a year During this time his first volume of poetry The Image and the Law was published In 1946 he held a position as instructor of English at Hamilton College Clinton New York in
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