Divine Nothingness


Gerald Stern (Author)


From the National Book Award–winning author of This Time, a new volume of poems that explore the very nature of existence.

Divine Nothingness is a meditative reflection on the poet’s past and an elegy to love and the experience of the senses in the face of mortality. From the Jersey side of the Delaware River in Lambertville, Gerald Stern explores questions about who and why we are, locating nothingness in the divine and the divine in nothingness.

From “What Brings Me Here?”

Here I am again and what brings me here
to the same wooden bench
preaching to the city of Lambertville
surrounded by mayapples?

For who in the hell is going to lie down with whom in the hell,
either inside or outside?

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • June 2016
  • ISBN 978-0-393-35286-3
  • 5.5 × 8.3 in / 112 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

“Gerald Stern has made an immense contribution to American poetry. His poems are not only great poems, memorable ones, but ones that get into your heart and stay there. Their lyrical ecstasies take you up for that moment so that your vision is changed, you are changed. The voice is intimate, someone unafraid to be imperfect. Gerald Stern’s poems sing in praise of the natural world, and in outrage of whatever is antihuman.” — Toi Derricote

“The best work of his career . . . Stern’s free verse—derived from William Carlos Williams—repudiates old rules while not quite creating its own: his incidents take on their own life, chaotic yet restrained, broken but passionate.” — Publishers Weekly

“Stern, at 89, is as robust and forthright as ever, occupying the page with insouciant skill, wry humor, and flashing passion. His long-lined, long poems move with a jazzy tension, pushing the limits and keeping time, rippling and sliding like piano riffs, while his sonnets quake.” — Donna Seaman, Booklist

Also by Gerald Stern All

  1. Book CoverAmerican Sonnets: Poems


  2. Book CoverBlessed as We Were: Late Selected and New Poems, 2001-2018


  3. Book CoverBread Without Sugar: Poems


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