Dancing With Tears in My Eyes

Dancing With Tears in My Eyes
For decades one of our most honored and beloved poets, Gerald Stern is also, it turns out, a prolific doodler. Sometimes charming, sometimes scathing, sometimes both, the odd little figures and scenes here are reproduced from drawings on napkins, hotel stationary, and the margins of what seem to be lecture handouts. These are remarkable expressions of a quirky world and a clear vision.

Long recognized as one of the most original poets in America, Stern is known for his tragi-comic, irascible vision that has been vividly rendered in hundreds of poems. All along, he has also been drafting these whimsical sketches. The Thurber-esque drawings represented here are daft, graphic expressions of Stern's fearless and shameless sense of self.

In addition to expressing a forgiving and cavalier attitude toward aging, these saucy drawings, until now a well-kept secret of Stern's creative life, capture something essential about his character. By turns profane and playfully romantic, they are another expression of the cutting wit and inimitable charm of Gerald Stern.

Publication Date: 
November 1, 2014