In his Prize-winning collection, Strand's poems are filled with portent and authority, but many are also, unexpectedly, even miraculously, funny. A celebrity poet pulls up in a limousine to cheers of adulation; a lone dog contemplates philosophy. The poem The Delirium Waltz is actually physically dizzying in its simple splendor and formal ...
In his Prize-winning collection, Strand's poems are filled with portent and authority, but many are also, unexpectedly, even miraculously, funny. A celebrity poet pulls up in a limousine to cheers of adulation; a lone dog contemplates philosophy. The poem The Delirium Waltz is actually physically dizzying in its simple splendor and formal virtuosity -- the lines keep repeating, transposed, creating new meanings and the sensation of spinning and dancing -- it also incorporates the many personalities who have been a part of Strand's community of fellow poets.These poems are remote and completely accessible, surreal yet grounded. Like Edward Hopper's paintings, to which his work has frequently been compared, Strand's poems explore a still, mournful universe where love and words and the mundane and the miraculous sit side by side, waiting. And then, a single snowflake lands, holding the complexity of yet another universe within, and melts on the arm of a chair: A Piece of the StormFrom the shadow of domes in the city of domes, A snowflake, a blizzard of one, weightless, entered your roomAnd made its way to the ann of the chair where you, looking upFrom your book, saw it the moment it landed. That's allThere was to it. No more than a solemn wakingTo brevity, to the lifting and falling away of attention, swiftly, A time between times, a flowerless funeral. No more than thatExcept for the feeling that this piece of the storm, Which turned into nothing before your eyes, would come back, That someone years hence, sitting as you are now, might say: It's time. The air is ready. The sky has an openings.
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