I find them evenly lit

mark-strand12

NY Times: Mark Strand, 80, Dies; Pulitzer-Winning Poet Laureate:

Mark Strand, whose spare, deceptively simple investigations of rootlessness, alienation and the ineffable strangeness of life made him one of America’s most hauntingly meditative poets, died on Saturday at his daughter’s home in Brooklyn. He was 80. Mr. Strand, who was named poet laureate of the United States in 1990 and awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1999 for his collection “Blizzard of One,” made an early impression with short, often surreal lyric poems that imparted an unsettling sense of personal dislocation — what the poet and critic Richard Howard called “the working of the divided self.”…“He is not a religious poet on the face of it, but he fits into a long tradition of meditation and contemplation,” said David Kirby…He makes you see how trivial the things of this world are, and how expansive the self is, once you unhook it from flat-screen TVs and iPhones.” Reading Mr. Strand, he said, “We learn what a big party solitude is.”…To critics who complained that his poems, with their emphasis on death, despair and dissolution, were too dark, he replied, “I find them evenly lit.”

He has too many favorite poems to share…so I have shared links to short excerpts, morsels, to enable you to feel the genius of this man.

  • Luminism: “And though it was brief, and slight, and nothing / To have been held onto so long, I remember it…”
  • Black Maps: “…A scar remembers the wound.” 
  • The Guardian: Why do I love what fades?”
  • The Triumph of the Infinite“All I could hear was my heart pumping and pumping.”
  • The Coming of Light: “..Even this late it happens: the coming of love, the coming of light.”
  • Dark Harbor: “…Sending up stars of salt, loud clouds of spume.”
  • The Continuous Life: “…You are slipping away with nothing completed, nothing / To prove you existed.”
  • Not Dying: “…On windless summer nights I feel those kisses…”
  • Sleeping With One Eye Open: “…We all have reasons for moving. I move to keep things whole.”
  • Lines for Winter: “…Tell yourself in that final flowing of cold through your limbs that you love what you are.” 
  • The Remains: “…The hours have done their job. I say my own name. I say goodbye.”

Credits: Photo – jrbenjamin.com

Comments

  1. Thank you for all the links. I have a real taste for him now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the introduction to Mark Strand.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kathy Waller says:

    I wasn’t familiar with Mark Strand. I feel a little sad that I didn’t know he’d been Poet Laureate. It’s an important position too easily ignored, and I’ve been missing some lovely poetry. Thank you for the introduction.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such a loss. He was a master of understanding and writing about the world we share.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yet another loss of a beautiful mind this year.
    Thank you for sharing his light and poetry♥
    Do take care, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love his work, Thankyou for sharing and reminding us of his beautiful words.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I clicked on the links for Black Maps. Wow. I must, and will, read more of this brilliance. Thank you for this introduction…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I read all the short excerpts you shared the links of. I am not sure if the writings were positive or it’s just the way I felt about those writings. How could it be so beautiful? I am awestruck. How can words make you fall for the subject of the writing you would otherwise never pay attention to?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I so agree with you and this statement Sonia: “How can words make you fall for the subject of the writing you would otherwise never pay attention to.” That, that, is a big sentence. Yes it is.

      Like

  9. Thank you, David. 🙂

    Like

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