Gerald Stern Poems

Behaving Like a Jew

by Gerald Stern

‘Behaving Like a Jew’ by Gerald Stern is a lyric poem with elements of an elegy. It includes poet’s understanding of how suffering and death should be approached.

This is an interesting and compelling Gerald Stern poem that should be considered among his best examples of verse. It speaks on themes that many different readers will relate to in an interesting and unexpected way. The poem discusses what it means to be Jewish in the contemporary world and how strongly the speaker feels about unnecessary death.

When I got there the dead opossum looked like

an enormous baby sleeping on the road.

It took me only a few seconds—just

Another Insane Devotion

by Gerald Stern

‘Another Insane Devotion’ by Gerald Stern is about a man reflecting on his life experiences. His memories, while not always easily understood, help him see the value of the choices he has made.

This is a well-known poem by Gerald Stern. Stern was a prolific American poet who received significant critical acclaim in his lifetime. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1991. This poem is emblematic of Stern's unique style.

This was gruesome—fighting over a ham sandwich

with one of the tiny cats of Rome, he leaped

on my arm and half hung on to the food and half

hung on to my shirt and coat.

The Dancing

by Gerald Stern

‘The Dancing’ by Gerald Stern is an emotionally complex poem that wrestles with feelings of joy and bittersweetness inspired by a fond memory.

In all these rotten shops, in all this broken furniture

and wrinkled ties and baseball trophies and coffee pots

I have never seen a postwar Philco

with the automatic eye

We're glad you like visiting Poem Analysis...

We've got everything you need to master poetry

But, are you ready to take your learning

to the next level?