Mark Strand, a poet of tremendous intellect and insight, passed away at the age of 80 this past weekend. We remember him for his intensely affecting meditations on selfhood and interior life, which took a multitude of forms over the course of his long career in literature and the visual arts. Strand’s poems were exceptional in their ability to be at once inward-looking and outward-moving, wry and heavy, revelatory and grave. While taking up universal themes of what it means to dwell in a human body and inhabit a human consciousness, his poetic voice was singular for its austere music and uninhibited strangeness. Strand often populated his work with lonely figures in surreal landscapes, crafting spare narratives with difficult, breathtaking turns.
In 2012, we were fortunate to feature two of Strand’s prose poems in the Kenyon Review Online. Like much of Strand’s work, “Anywhere Could Be Somewhere” and “Not To Miss the Great Thing” deal with themes of appearance and disappearance. Images of borders, gates, migration, and transcendence channel and complicate recurrent metaphors for death. Ultimately, Strand wrote like no one else of our collective fascination with mortality and meaning.
Click here to read “Anywhere Could Be Somewhere” and “Not To Miss the Great Thing” from the Winter 2012 issue of KROnline.