Howard Nemerov War Stories: Poems about Long Ago and Now.
University of Chicago Press, 60 pages, $10.95

“They say the war is over,” writes Howard Nemerov in “Redeployment,” one of his most memorable early poems. “But water still/Comes bloody from the taps.” Today, thirty-seven years after writing these lines, Nemerov’s whole outlook on life is still haunted by the memory of war. This is the impression one has from Nemerov’s new book, War Stories: Poems about Long Ago and Now. Nearly a third of the poems in this volume have their source in the poet’s experiences, between 1942 and 1944, as a flying officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and as a first lieutenant, during the final two years of the conflict, in the U.S. Army Air Force. In the RAF, Nemerov’s missions included the bombing of German shipping boats on the North Sea. A few poems are based directly on...

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