Keeping things whole

November 20, 2006 at 1:43 pm 1 comment

Mark Strand

Listen

In a field
I am the absence
of field.
This is
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.

When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body’s been.

We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.

Taken from Mark Strand‘s 1964 collection Sleeping with One Eye Open, today’s poem is a compact and delightful exercise in paradox, a poem that turns sensation into a state of being. Its short, simple lines suggest fact and proposition, giving the whole poem the tone of a conceptual argument, and yet the verse captures beautifully the sense of emptinesses surrounding us and the terrible precariousness of the world that we constantly hold together.

[falstaff]

P.S. Mark Strand’s page on the Academy of American Poets is here, and features a reading of the lovely From the Long Sad Party.

Entry filed under: English, Falstaff, Mark Strand. Tags: .

What we are To a Waterfowl

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