Yesterday Mark Strand died, a poet whose work I greatly admire. I first came across Strand’s poetry in my first year of university, where we read and discussed one of his most popular poems, “Keeping Things Whole.”
A couple of years later, a classmate and I went to see Strand read. It was the first time this classmate and I had spent any time together off campus, but it certainly wasn’t the last. We became very close that year and remain good friends. In a way, that night at the reading was when we became friends, or at least it marked a shift in our friendship: We moved from being school friends to becoming all-the-time friends, if that’s a thing.
On our way home that night, we talked about how cool Strand had looked and sounded on that stage. There was no other word for it: He was a cool guy. He reminded us of Clint Eastwood, or of how we imagined Clint Eastwood would be if he were reciting poetry in a dimly lit theatre in downtown Toronto.
I spent some of this weekend remembering Strand by reading some of my favourite poems of his, and I wanted to share a few here. I was reminded of how cool Strand really was and of how brilliant and beautiful his poetry is.
“The End” (with audio)
4 thoughts on “Remembering poet Mark Strand”
Thanks Nicky. Poets deserve to be rock stars or movie stars, but they’re still playing the small rooms. I loved Lines for Winter — I hope Strand was feeling that before he died. Thanks for sharing this.
Thanks for reading, Ian. I’m glad you liked the poem.
Thanks for enlightening me. A good way to start the day.
My pleasure. Thanks for reading!