It’s true! Howard Nemerov was Poet Laureate of the United States not once but twice, serving from 1988 to 1990. The child of Russian Jewish immigrants, Howard grew up in New York City. His poetry was respected because while he wrote in a very formal fashion, his topics were of the everyday stuff we see all around us.
For example, in 1977, Howard published Storm Windows. To read the entire poem, go here. We’ll just share a few opening lines this talented man wrote about storm window installation:
People are putting up storm windows now,
Or were, this morning, until the heavy rain
Drove them indoors. So, coming home at noon,
I saw storm windows lying on the ground
It is an echo from a different time, isn’t it? You may remember driving around in Hanover MA or one of the surrounding towns in the region when you were a child, watching as people put up and took down their storm windows with the changing seasons. It was a big job. Today people don’t do that anymore. Modern storm windows are installed to save energy and increase the comfort and appearance of the home on a year round basis.
These storm windows are much more highly engineered than the simply, unwieldy panes of glass Howard was writing about. Older storm windows needed a lot of care and maintenance: the glass would come loose with time, requiring reglazing, while wooden frames needed regular painting. Today’s homeowner is lucky to miss out on that – in Hanover MA, storm windows now need no special care and last for decades.