Mark Strand


msnewspAlmoat Invisible - prose poems

In an age where the emphasis is of the entertained consumer, and their gratification, it could be considered that it’s miraculous anyone stops for poetry. Poetry requires a moment, but repays endlessly. It is not to be gobbled and then shuffled off for the next book, the next poem, at the time.

In Mark Strand’s work we have that refuge of understanding, that oasis of a paradise where words and perspectives meet and alter enlightening with each reading. We are in the presence not of someone who scrawls verse, panders to contemporary understandings, settles for trickery or entertainment, or simply someone who also happens to write poetry. We are honored to be in the presence of a Poet.

Reading Mark Strand’s work, you discover how words and speech influence thought and feeling, come round about again to influence perspective on the whole and in detail. How in a very short space of time you can experience worlds. This is his gift to us.

Without pride or ego, Mark Strand’s poetry gives an uncompromising confidence, revelation and renewed vitality through a fine, and subtle discovery of what is known, suspected, or simply undeclared. And by the interactions of his words, the delight of language.

Great poetry such as his instructs, teaches and involves without intrusion, embellishment or stale argument appealing to vanity. I come away feeling that poetry itself is a sacred trust. That those insights are my own.

Gratitude and appreciation are the most accurate notes when approaching the work of a great poet. The willingness to suspend disbelief, and the contemporary security of jaded cynicism.

Mark Strand’s work brings you back to what is great about poetry. Not the attitude of vanity, the easy but catered perspective of some contemporary forms, the history of schools, but the real things.

Just when you thought you might have known all there was to know about poetry and art, the power and the glory of it, you find Mark Strand’s work and know the discovery will thankfully continue.

We are honored by his work, blessed to reacquaint ourselves with these songs of a great Poet.

©Dean J. Baker



Ed. Mark Strand’s Collected Poems are due out in September 2014 and the price is minimal, considering the reward. It ought to carry a significant financial valuation, rather than be merely fitted in to what is allotted by merchandisers.

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