New Selected Poems

Mark Strand, Author . Knopf $26.95 (267p) ISBN 978-0-307-26297-4

Strand's 1980 Selected Poems has probably long had a home on most contemporary poetry readers' shelves. That book proclaimed Strand's status as a major poet writing in a sometimes surreal, humorous, oracular mode: “If a man gives up poetry for power/ he shall have lots of power.” This new volume extends that book to encompass the intervening two and a half decades and four collections of poems. From youthful masterpieces like the famous “Keeping Things Whole” (“In a field/ I am the absence/ of field”) through the haunting middle work of Darker (“The future is not what it used to be./ The graves are ready. The dead/ shall inherit the dead”) up to the self-conscious vignettes of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Blizzard of One (“It was clear when I left the party/ That though I was over eighty I still had/ A beautiful body”) and last year's Man and Camel (“The wonder of their singing,/ its elusive blend of man and camel, seemed/ an ideal image for all uncommon couples”), this important book offers the first panoramic view of the ongoing career of a poet who has mattered deeply to poets and readers alike. Strand's is one of the contemporary voices that will not fade. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 09/17/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
Paperback - 267 pages - 978-0-375-71127-5
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