PDA

View Full Version : Mark Strand passes



Chase
11-30-2014, 05:08 AM
Another sad passing of a literary great. Mark Strand, poet, artists, and writer of children's books has died. He was once our U.S. poet laureate.

http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/entertainment/20141129/US--Obit-Mark.Strand/

C.bronco
11-30-2014, 05:48 AM
His poem, Eating Poetry, is one of my favorites. It is sad to hear he has passed.

Jamesaritchie
11-30-2014, 05:56 AM
Honestly, I hated his poetry. It was really just prose broken at random spots, if at all, but just what the literary loves.

His prose was much better, and I'll miss this intensely.

Kylabelle
11-30-2014, 07:51 AM
Chase, thank you for posting this.


In a field
I am the absence
of field.
This is
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.
This is the passage quoted in the obituary linked in the OP. I find it beautiful for the spare language, and profound in implication.


Honestly, I hated his poetry. It was really just prose broken at random spots, if at all, but just what the literary loves.

His prose was much better, and I'll miss this intensely.


James, the part of your post that I set in boldface implies a rather amazing degree of contempt for your peers and fellow writers. I can say of some poetry (though not of Mark Strand's) that it reads to me as prose, and so I miss the poetry of it. I tend to assume I am missing what makes it poetry, especially if it is written by someone whom many appreciate, as in this instance.

For example, I personally find little I can appreciate as poetry in the work of Walt Whitman. I know he is one of the great greats of our field, the field of poetry. I know his words have inspired many, influenced many, been lauded by many. Yet try as I might they more often than not leave me cold and I wonder what all the fuss is about.

I don't find it necessary to state categorically that his writing is not poetry (though to my ear most of it is not) and I also don't find it necessary to conclude and imply that those who do appreciate his writing are somehow being fooled.

That final phrase of yours in that sentence, "but just what the literary loves" carries such contempt. Here also I can sometimes share the attitude. There have been instances when I have felt what was almost disgust about certain types of writing and the prestige it gathered. I have to admit I can't think of an example right now, but I remember experiencing such. Perhaps it was at some poetry reading or other.

However. As I have pointed out recently, statements of this kind are not respectful of other writers, at all. I once again ask you to find a way to express your opinions that does not carry such disrespect. As a writer, you should be able to do this. If you find you cannot or feel it would be dishonest -- or simply don't wish to make the effort, then I ask you to keep such opinions out of this room.