Tuesday, April 11, 2017

“There is no happiness like mine. I have been eating poetry.” ― Mark Strand

“Each moment is a place
you've never been.”
― Mark Strand, New Selected Poems

“Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.”
― Mark Strand, Selected Poems

“In a field
I am the absence
of field.
This is
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.”
― Mark Strand, New Selected Poems

“We are reading the story of our lives
As though we were in it
As though we had written it.”
― Mark Strand

“Even this late it happens:
the coming of love, the coming of light.”
― Mark Strand, Selected Poems

“We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.”
― Mark Strand

“The Coming of Light

Even this late it happens:
the coming of love, the coming of light.
You wake and the candles are lit as if by themselves,
stars gather, dreams pour into your pillows,
sending up warm bouquets of air.
Even this late the bones of the body shine
and tomorrow’s dust flares into breath.”
― Mark Strand, The Late Hour

“These wrinkles are nothing
These gray hairs are nothing,
This stomach which sags
with old food, these bruised
and swollen ankles,
my darkening brain,
they are nothing.
I am the same boy
my mother used to kiss.”
― Mark Strand

“When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body's been.”
― Mark Strand, Selected Poems

“Those hours given over to basking in the glow of an imagined
future, of being carried away in streams of promise by a love or
a passion so strong that one felt altered forever and convinced
that even the smallest particle of the surrounding world was
charged with purpose of impossible grandeur; ah, yes, and
one would look up into the trees and be thrilled by the wind-
loosened river of pale, gold foliage cascading down and by the
high, melodious singing of countless birds; those moments, so
many and so long ago, still come back, but briefly, like fireflies
in the perfumed heat of summer night.”
― Mark Strand, Almost Invisible: Poems

“Sometimes he did not know if he slept or just thought about sleep.”
― Mark Strand

“One clear night while the others slept, I climbed
the stairs to the roof of the house and under a sky
strewn with stars I gazed at the sea, at the spread of it,
the rolling crests of it raked by the wind, becoming
like bits of lace tossed in the air. I stood in the long
whispering night, waiting for something, a sign, the approach
of a distant light, and I imagined you coming closer,
the dark waves of your hair mingling with the sea,
and the dark became desire, and desire the arriving light.
The nearness, the momentary warmth of you as I stood
on that lonely height watching the slow swells of the sea
break on the shore and turn briefly into glass and disappear...
Why did I believe you would come out of nowhere? Why with all
that the world offers would you come only because I was here?”
― Mark Strand

“She stood beside me for years, or was it a moment? I cannot remember. Maybe I loved her, maybe I didn't. There was a house, and then no house. There were trees, but none remain. When no one remembers, what is there? You, whose moments are gone, who drift like smoke in the afterlife, tell me something, tell me anything.”
― Mark Strand, Almost Invisible: Poems

“It came to my house.
It sat on my shoulders.
Your shadow is yours. I told it so. I said it was yours.
I have carried it with me too long. I give it back.”
― Mark Strand

“No voice comes from outer space, from the folds of dust and carpets of wind to tell us that this is the way it was meant to happen, that if only we knew how long the ruins would last we would never complain.”
― Mark Strand, Blizzard of One

“Lines for Winter

Tell yourself
as it gets cold and gray falls from the air
that you will go on
walking, hearing
the same tune no matter where
you find yourself—
inside the dome of dark
or under the cracking white
of the moon's gaze in a valley of snow.
Tonight as it gets cold
tell yourself
what you know which is nothing
but the tune your bones play
as you keep going. And you will be able
for once to lie down under the small fire
of winter stars.
And if it happens that you cannot
go on or turn back
and you find yourself
where you will be at the end,
tell yourself
in that final flowing of cold through your limbs
that you love what you are.”
― Mark Strand, Selected Poems

“...In another time,
What cannot be seen will define us, and we shall be prompted

To say that language is error, and all things are wronged
By representation. The self, we shall say, can never be
Seen with a disguise, and never be seen without one.”
― Mark Strand, The Story of Our Lives: with The Monument and The Late Hour

“From the shadow of domes in the city of domes,
A snowflake, a blizzard of one, weightless, entered your room
And made its way to the arm of the chair where you, looking up
From your book, saw it the moment it landed. That's all
There was to it.”
― Mark Strand, Blizzard of One

“Keeping Things Whole"

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.”
― Mark Strand, Selected Poems

“When we walk in the sun
our shadows are like barges of silence.”
― Mark Strand

“I is for immortality, which for some poets is a necessary compensation. Presumably miserable in this life, they will be remembered when the rest of us are long forgotten. None of them asks about the quality of that remembrance--what it will be like to crouch in the dim hallways of somebody's mind until the moment of recollection occurs, or to be lifted off suddenly and forever into the pastures of obscurity. Most poets know better than to concern themselves with such things. They know the chances are better than good that their poems will die when they do and never be heard of again, that they'll be replaced by poems sporting a new look in a language more current. They also know that even if individual poems die, though in some cases slowly, poetry will continue: that its subjects, it constant themes, are less liable to change than fashions in language, and that this is where an alternate, less lustrous immortality might be. We all know that a poem can influence other poems, remain alive in them, just as previous poems are alive in it. Could we not say, therefore, that individual poems succeed most by encouraging revisions of themselves and inducing their own erasure? Yes, but is this immortality, or simply a purposeful way of being dead?”
― Mark Strand, The Weather of Words: Poetic Inventions

“What we desire, more than a season or weather, is the comfort
Of being strangers, at least to ourselves.”
― Mark Strand, Blizzard of One

“Ink runs from the corners of my mouth. There is no happiness like mine. I have been eating poetry.”
― Mark Strand

“How those fires burned that are no longer, how the weather worsened, how the shadow of the seagull vanished without a trace. Was it the end of a season, the end of a life? Was it so long ago it seems it might never have been? What is it in us that lives in the past and longs for the future, or lives in the future and longs for the past? (from "No Words Can Describe It")”
― Mark Strand

“My Name

Once when the lawn was a golden green
and the marbled moonlit trees rose like fresh memorials
in the scented air, and the whole countryside pulsed
with the chirr and murmur of insects, I lay in the grass,
feeling the great distances open above me, and wondered
what I would become and where I would find myself,
and though I barely existed, I felt for an instant
that the vast star-clustered sky was mine, and I heard
my name as if for the first time, heard it the way
one hears the wind or the rain, but faint and far off
as though it belonged not to me but to the silence
from which it had come and to which it would go.”
― Mark Strand, Man and Camel

“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.”
― Mark Strand, Poetry Magazine

“Nobody sees it happening, but the architecture of our time
Is becoming the architecture of the next time. And the dazzle

Of light upon the waters is as nothing beside the changes
Wrought therein, just as our waywardness means

Nothing against the steady pull of things over the edge.
Nobody can stop the flow, but nobody can start it either.

Time slips by; our sorrows do not turn into poems,
And what is invisible stays that way. Desire has fled,

Leaving only a trace of perfume in its wake,
And so many people we loved have gone,

And no voice comes from outer space, from the folds
Of dust and carpets of wind to tell us that this

Is the way it was meant to happen, that if only we knew
How long the ruins would last we would never complain.”
― Mark Strand

“The ultimate self-effacement
is not the pretense of the minimal,
but the jocular considerations of the maximal
in the manner of Wallace Stevens.”
― Mark Strand

“What I had not realized then, but now know only too well, is that sparks carry within them the wish to be relieved of the burden of brightness. And that is why I no longer write, and why the dark is is my freedom and my happiness.”
― Mark Strand, Almost Invisible: Poems

0 comments: