Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Reasons for Moving, Darker & The Sargentville Not: Poems
Darker Beauty
Reasons for Moving, Darker & The Sargentville Notebook: 
Poems by Mark Strand

"Now it is time, Fine Line, to use the language
that handles everything and is itself
in the same way that it is not itself."
- The Sargentville Notebook, p 53.

This collection includes Mark Strand's first two books of poetry going back to 1968. While I did not read Strand's poetry then I am glad that I became acquainted with him since then. The confessional nature of the poetry and the breathtaking images combine to form poems with the power to carry you away to the places imagined by the poet. He has been United States Poet Laureate and has taught at many different Universities over the course of his career. I found his poetic voice as expressed in these poems and the aphorisms included in this volume a reader's delight.  Here is one example from Darker:


The ghost of another comes to visit and we hold
communion while the light shines.
While the light shines, what else can we do?
And who doesn't have one foot in the grave?

I notice how the trees seem shaggy with leaves
and the steam of insects engulfs them.
The light falls like an anchor through the branches.
And which one of us is not being pulled down constantly?

My mind floats in the purple air of my skull.
I see myself dancing.  I smile at everybody.
Slowly I dance out of the burning house of my head.
And who isn't borne again and again into heaven?

- Mark Strand, Darker, p 70.

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parrish lantern said...

This is fantastic & a new to me poet, so thanks for the intro. Also love what you do so I've nominated you for Best written Blog in the B.B.A.W.

James said...

Thanks for your encouragement. I appreciate finding new poets (to me) on your site as well.