APRIL IS POETRY MONTH: Happy 80th Birthday, Mark Strand

APRIL IS POETRY MONTH: Happy 80th Birthday, Mark Strand

Today we send our warmest wishes to Mark Strand on his 80th birthday. [He was born April 11, 1934 in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada]. A longtime Knopf poet, he is a former U. S. Poet Laureate and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, among many other honors. This prose poem, a Strandian parable, reminds us of the qualities he has brought to our poetry over the decades: playfulness and wit, clarity and simplicity of style, a deep engagement with the infinite and the infinitely beautiful, wherever they may lead.

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The Buried Melancholy of the Poet

  

One summer when he was still young he stood at the window and wondered where they had gone, those women who sat by the ocean, watching, waiting for something that would never arrive, the wind light against their skin, sending loose strands of hair across their lips. From what season had they fallen, from what idea of grace had they strayed? It was long since he had seen them in their lonely splendor, heavy in their idleness, enacting the sad story of hope abandoned. This was the summer he wandered out into the miraculous night, into the sea of dark, as if for the first time, to shed his own light, but what he shed was the dark, what he found was the night.

 Excerpt from Almost Invisible. Copyright (c) 2012 by Mark Strand. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, LLC., New York. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher

 

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