Cover image for Fragments of my fleece
Fragments of my fleece
Acheson, Dean, 1893-1971.
Personal Author:
[First edition].
Publication Information:
New York : Norton [1971]
Physical Description:
222 pages : portrait ; 22 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E742.5 .A15 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
E742.5 .A15 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The lyric poems of In Beauty Bright, although marked by the same passion and swiftness as Gerald Stern's previous work, move into an area of knowledge--even wisdom--that reflects a long life of writing, teaching, and activism. They are poems of grief and anger, but the music is delicate and moving.from "In Beauty Bright"In beauty-bright and such it was like Blake'slily and though an angel he looked absurddragging a lily out of a beauty-bright storewrapped in tissue with a petal drooping,nor was it useless--you who know it knowhow useful it is--and how he would be deadin a minute if he were to lose it thoughhow do you lose a lily?

Author Notes

Often applauded as a modern Walt Whitman, Gerald Stern was born February 22, 1925 in Pittsburgh. Stern grew up in Pittsburgh and received a BA in 1947 from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.A from Columbia University in 1949. He did post-graduate study at the University of Paris from 1949 to 1950 and taught at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Iowa, Columbia, New York University, and Princeton. He held chairs at Washington University at St. Louis, Bucknell, and The University of Alabama. He has been a member of the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop in Iowa City since 1982.

Stern is the author of 12 collections of poetry including Leaving Another Kingdom: Selected Poems, Bread Without Sugar and Odd Mercy. His work is anthologized in more than 50 anthologies of American poetry. His long poem "Hot Dog " from Odd Mercy was published in a special supplement to The American Poetry Review in 1995. His work has received numerous awards including the Patterson Poetry Prize, the PEN Award, the Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize, the Melville Caine Award from the Poetry Society of America, The Lamont Poetry Prize, and the Fellowship of the Academy of American Poets for Distinguished Lifetime Service. He has also received a Guggenheim fellowship and three National Endowment for the Arts grants.

Gerald Stern married Patricia Miller on September 12, 1952 and they have two children, Rachael and David. They were subsequently divorced.

(Bowker Author Biography) Gerald Stern lives in Lambertville, New Jersey.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Stern is the master of muscular, ambushing, yet finely calibrated poems poems that swoop at you like birds of prey, then lure you in like pieces of glass embedded in the mud, an image that evokes Stern's perspective throughout this potent collection, his eighteenth, in which he finds beauty glinting within endless darkness and sorrow. This revered recipient of the National Book Award, Ruth Lilly Prize, and National Jewish Book Award reaches deeply into memory and imagination to create poems of clamorous and lush juxtapositions between the recognizable and the inexplicable, the tangible and the fugitive. Each saxophone-solo lyric seems to rise up from some hidden dimension, tracking disconcerting metamorphoses and peculiar moments of confusion or connection. Stern whirls from the funhouse mirrors of dreams to the sharpest of realism, from bristling anger to despair over war between humans and against nature to striking portraits of family members, long-ago lovers, neighbors, friends, Blake, Whitman, and Eleanor Roosevelt. Each surprising, fully loaded poem reflects Stern's long practice of heightened attention, passion for language, reliance on love, and eyes-wide-open embrace of life.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

This late collection-Stern is 87-is an astonishing addition to the canon of a poet whose status as a major figure is already assured. Like the late poems of Wallace Stevens, the poems here display the poet's gifts by taking another step into the empyrean of sheer mastery. One such gift is Stern's syntactical momentum: lines propel themselves forward, phrases tumbling with sloppy grace: "In beauty bright and such it was like Blake's/ lily and though an angel he looked absurd/ dragging a lily out of a beauty bright store/ wrapped in tissue." Another is the way poems burst forth, borne on tiny prepositional capes: "In the way Ovid lectured," "How God in three religions rode," "Then, fifty dollars for a Hungarian." A third is Stern's command of a dozen registers-dream logic, contemplation, reference, remembrance-woven in endlessly surprising, undulating sentences. These poems contain multitudes, but a long memory is perhaps most conspicuously on display. Here are nostalgia poems on New York City, Robert Duncan, and Eleanor Roosevelt; Eddie Cantor, government cheese, and Jack Johnson all make appearances. These poems are as beautiful and bright as anything out there. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

National Book Award winner Stern's newest collection is marked by an unmistakable vigor. Its distinguishing characteristic, momentum, is also its greatest accomplishment; most of these poems are driven forth nimbly by a single sentence, sometimes with several clauses linked by semicolons. For all the "lyric" lines that typify Stern's style, though, these poems exhibit a wonderful sense of linguistic play, as in "Spring" ("I am ashamed the crows too shiny their feathers/ too wet the cliff on my right too red the blood/ the blood of any animal"), and sense of humor, as seen in "Dumb," characterized by a speaker caught up in a judgmental moment of fury aimed at bicyclists ("they are so dumb and their bikes have so many dumb/ and useless gears like a dumb idiot box"). VERDICT What a pleasure it is to read not what happens but how the speaker's mind works through it. The tumbling lines of David Kirby come to mind but with a Sternian succinctness; Stern has pretty nearly perfected the vigorous one-sentence poem.-Stephen Morrow, Ohio Univ., Chillicothe (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.