Thursday, April 24, 2008

Poet Mark Strand in town

Mark Strand will be at the Lighthouse Writer's Spring Studio weekend, May 3 and 4. Strand is a Pulitzer Prize winning poet, former US Poet Laureate, and one of the leading writers of his generation. His work--both poetry and prose--is wonderfully nuanced, dreamlike, and reverberant. Of his work, Harold Bloom has said "These poems instantly touch a universal anguish as no confessional poems can," and Louis Gluck has said that his work "infuses a wry tenderness; the wit we have come to expect has developed into a wildly supple instrument, a sort of celestial shrug. Poetry at this level manifests profound wisdom."

The New Yorker has written: "A poet of commanding intellect and haunting imagery, he catches glimmers that hover at the furthest reaches of consciousness." The New York Time Book Review wrote, "Strand's poems resonate with a shimmering sense of the infinite that befits his stature... His apparently simple lines have the eerie, seductive ring of the inevitable."

Here's one of his best known poems, just to give you a taste of his work.

Eating Poetry
Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.

The librarian does not believe what she sees.
Her eyes are sad
and she walks with her hands in her dress.

The poems are gone.
The light is dim.
The dogs are on the basement stairs and coming up.

Their eyeballs roll,
their blond legs burn like brush.
The poor librarian begins to stamp her feet and weep.

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.


For more samples of his work, check out the Lighthouse blog.

7 comments:

Lisa said...

I am very excited about this one. I'll be at the Writer's Studio event!

Carleen Brice said...

Maybe I'll see you. I hope to make it, but I'm also speaking to a book club that day, so we'll see....

Larramie said...

Whoa, wonder what type of poetry he was eating? ;)

May both of you enjoy!

Barrie said...

That was fantastic. I wish I could write poetry. Have fun at the event!

Rebecca Burgess said...

Now I'm wondering if I can duck out of my Personality and Behavior Assessment class early...I'm really hating my weekend classes right now.

Jess Riley said...

Enjoy the event!!

My dad is a poet ... I really admire people who can paint such images & evoke such emotion with such few carefully chosen words...

Sustenance Scout said...

I'll be there! Carleen and Rebecca, hope you're both able to make it. Lisa, care to carpool? :)