Keeping things whole

November 20, 2006 at 1:43 pm 1 comment

Mark Strand


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.


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.

What we are To a Waterfowl

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