Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Book reviews

Reasons for Moving, Darker & The Sargentville Not: Poems Reasons for Moving, Darker & The Sargentville Not: Poems by Mark Strand

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was the first book of poetry where I memorized an entire poem because it moved me so much. Here goes, from memory:

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.

The absolute simplicity of this poem and the careful diction Strand chooses displays a mastery of the English language that I think only poets really possess.

If you read on, read more of his poems, you will see the theme of filling spaces and absences and voids. His words are so perfect. Every time.

For a long time I wanted to tattoo the last stanza of this poem on my body because it was the first piece of language I really, truly fell head over heels in love with.

Thank you Professor David Hamilton, University of Iowa Writer's Workshop, for introducing me to Mark Strand and for the subsequent love affair that followed.

It has been one of the most significant and lasting relationships I've ever had.

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