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Paperback Selected Poems of Mark Strand Book

ISBN: 0679733019

ISBN13: 9780679733010

Selected Poems of Mark Strand

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Book Overview

In this compilation of older and newer poems, Strand demonstrates his mastery of cadence and narrative style.

Related Subjects

Literature & Fiction Poetry

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Poems that leave you changed from when you began them

Mark Strand is an excellent contemporary poet. Some poems leave the reader smiling, such as in "The New Poetry Handbook." An excerpt reads, "If a man publicly denounces poetry, / his shoes will fill with urine." Even within this one poem, the reader changes from a laugh to a stunned silence, from the last line in the poem, "If a man finishes a poem, / he shall bathe in the blank wake of his passion / and be kissed by white paper." Strand uses language to purely, succintly, metaphorically, lyrically, and beautifully describe every day life: marriage, writing, love, home, and death.BUY THIS BOOK!

Strand's a painter of words

Mark Strand's poetry speaks volumes even in this thin-ish book of selected poems. It's my favorite of poetry books by living English-speaking writers. His early work reflects influences from Latin Surrealists like Octavio Paz. He moves later to the personal...autobiographical, beautiful elegies, and words on that basic thread that ties together the human But enough of the pretentious crap on poetry that exists out there already in useless spades, on to the meat and bone of the matter, the poet's words. You be the judge. Here are some of my more favorite lines: "Tonight as it gets cold tell yourself what you know which is nothing but the tune your bones play as you keep going." from "Lines for Winter" "She slept without the usual concerns, the troubling dreams--the pets moving through the museum, the carved monsters, the candles giving themselves up to darkness. She slept without caring what she looked like, without considering the woman who would come or the men who would leave or the mirrors or the basin of cold water." from "She" "Ink runs from the corners of my mouth. There is no happiness like mine. I have been eating poetry...She does not understand. When I get on my knees and lick her hand, she screams. I am a new man. I snarl at her and bark. I romp with joy in the bookish dark." from "Eating Poetry" and finally "The meek are hauling their skins into heaven. The hopeless are suffering the cold with those who have nothing to hide...There are stones in the sea no one has seen. There is a shore and people are waiting. And nothing comes back. Because it is over. Because there is silence instead of a name. Because it is winter and the new year." from "Elegy for my Father"


This collection proves Mark Strand to be one of the most amazing, talented contemporary poets. Easy for a poetry beginner to appreciate and understand, yet complex enough for the biggest poetry buff to love, this book made me think over and over again about the thoughts Strand so elegantly examines. I had the luck to be able to see Strand read, and his wit and grace impressed me almost as much as his work does. If you are interested in reading contemporary poetry, or already love the likes of Simic, Tate, Wright, Ashbery, etc, pick up this book and let Stand's magic take you away.

Like a Schubert Piano Sonata

hauting, ethereal, sparse, strand is, for me, the king of metaphor, and in some ways suspense. a wonderful selection, a desert island choice ... for the deserted.

Strand clearly *has* vision; a treasure of a book

I have never met the author, but I have loved this book for the past several years. The person from DC stated, "But do not believe that a poet is good simply based on reputation and public favour." I would never dream of it. I had never heard of Strand when I bought the Selected Poems, and I wouldn't care if no one else had ever heard of him. Many of the poems, especially "The Story of Our Lives," "My Death by Somebody Else," "The Mailman," and others are among the poems that drift through my mind often. It seems to me that you shouldn't review a book of poems based on being bitter about the guy not being nice to you. And, what he reportedly said about vision . .Maybe he said it, maybe he meant it, maybe he was just saying it to annoy you. Doesn't matter to the literature in any case. LOL
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