Mark Strand was born 11 April 1934, and died 29 November 2014
- The future is always beginning now.
- Pain is filtered in a poem so that it becomes finally, in the end, pleasure.
- I is for immortality, which for some poets is a necessary compensation. Presumably miserable in this life, they will be remembered when the rest of us are long forgotten. None of them asks about the quality of that remembrance—what it will be like to crouch in the dim hallways of somebody’s mind until the moment of recollection occurs, or to be lifted off suddenly and forever into the pastures of obscurity. Most poets know better than to concern themselves with such things. They know the chances are better than good that their poems will die when they do and never be heard of again, that they’ll be replaced by poems sporting a new look in a language more current.
- A great many people seem to think writing poetry is worthwhile, even though it pays next to nothing and is not as widely read as it should be.
- A life is not sufficiently elevated for poetry, unless, of course, the life has been made into an art.
- From the reader’s view, a poem is more demanding than prose.
- Poetry is, first and last, language - the rest is filler.
Strand was a Canadian-born American poet, essayist, and translator. He was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1990.
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