About the poet
Son of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, Gerald Stern grew up in Pittsburgh, in a house with...
So one day when the azalea bush was firing
away and the Japanese maple was roaring I
came into the kitchen full of daylight and
turned on my son's Sony sliding over the
lacquered floor in my stocking feet for it was
time to rattle the canisters and see what
sugar and barley have come to and how Bolero
sounds after all these years and if I'm loyal
still and when did I have a waist that thin?
And if my style was too nostalgic and where
were you when I was burning alive, nightingale?
‘Bolero’, unpublished poems, copyright © Gerald Stern 2008, used by permission of the author.