Former U.S. Poet Laureate Mark Strand writes poems that weave between abstraction and the detailed particulars of actual experience. His poems are filled with "the weather of leavetaking", but they are also unexpectedly funny. Strand makes reading poetry a joy, even for those who prefer prose.Former U.S. Poet Laureate Mark Strand writes poems that weave between abstraction and the detailed particulars of actual experience. His poems are filled with "the weather of leavetaking", but they are also unexpectedly funny. Strand makes reading poetry a joy, even for those who prefer prose.Read Less
Publishers Weekly, 1998-04-27 Since Yeats linked the "labor to be beautiful" with the work of poetry, no poet has taken the link more to heart?or made handsomer, more stylish poems out of mirror-gazing?than former Poet Laureate Strand (Dark Harbor, etc.). Whether in the charming monologues of "Five Dogs," the moving elegy "In Memory of Joseph Brodsky" or the dream-memoir of his social circle, "The Delirium Waltz," Strand insists on the failure of poetry to preserve our reflections or to reanimate the ghosts of memory and loss. "Time slips by," he writes in "The Next Time," "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 love have gone." The frank, elegiac brio and easy swing of lines like these have always distinguished Strand's work, and they have never sounded more seductive. Crowded with tributes to friends like Jorie Graham, Octavio Paz and the painter William Bailey, this wonderful, varied new collection also shows a wit reminiscent of John Ashbery?private, hard to pin down, addicted to deferrals and dying falls. If there is something scandalous in Strand's gorgeous, unabashed nostalgia or erotic melancholy, the scandal is how inescapable these modes remain?for us and for one of our most deeply enjoyable poets. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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