Iycee Charles de Gaulle Summary Mark Strand Essay

Mark Strand Essay

& # 8217 ; s Life And Career Essay, Research Paper

Jay Parini

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Strand was born in Canada on Prince Edward Island. He studied at

Antioch College, where he took a BA. He besides received a BFA from Yale, where he studied

picture. At the University of Iowa, he worked closely with poet Donald Justice,

finishing an MA in 1962. He spent a twelvemonth in Italy on a Fulbright scholarship, and subsequently

taught at Iowa for three old ages. In 1965 he spent a twelvemonth as Fulbright Lecturer at the

University of Brazil, where he was profoundly influenced by modern-day Latin American poets

( particularly the Brazilian poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade ) . Strand has moved around a good

trade, learning at many American universities, including Columbia, Princeton, Harvard, and

the University of Utah, where he is now professor of English.

Strand & # 8217 ; s poesy is known for a lucidity reminiscent of the pictures of Edward Hopper,

and for a profoundly inward sense of linguistic communication. Many of the verse forms aspire to the status of

dreams, shot through with images possessing a queerly stalking color, as in & # 8216 ; The

Ghost Ship & # 8217 ; , which summons a cryptic ship that floats & # 8216 ; Through the crowded streets & # 8230 ;

/ its obscure / tunnage like air current & # 8217 ; . He often invokes mundane images, as in & # 8216 ; The

Mailman & # 8217 ; , where a wraith-like postman visits the storyteller at midnight to present & # 8216 ; awful

personal intelligence & # 8217 ; . In & # 8216 ; The Last Bus & # 8217 ; the poet imagines Rio de Janeiro, naming the sea & # 8216 ; a

dream & # 8217 ; in which the metropolis & # 8216 ; dies and is reborn & # 8217 ; . The verse form is surreal in a mode that

combines the surreal quality of Pablo Neruda with facets of incubus that callback such

European expressionists as Georg Trakl.

Strand & # 8217 ; s first book, Sleeping with One Eye Open was published in 1964.

His 2nd, Reasons for Moving ( 1968 ) , attracted widespread attending from critics ;

it includes & # 8216 ; Eating Poetry & # 8217 ; which begins: & # 8216 ; Ink runs from the corners of my oral cavity. / There

is no felicity like mine. / I have been eating poetry. & # 8217 ; This fantastic surrealism besides

animates poems like & # 8216 ; Moontan & # 8217 ; , & # 8216 ; The Man in the Tree & # 8217 ; , and & # 8216 ; The Marriage & # 8217 ; . Darker

( 1970 ) was an obliquely autobiographical volume, incorporating such verse forms as & # 8216 ; My Life & # 8217 ; and

& # 8216 ; My Death & # 8217 ; . These verse forms are full of a quiet, ironically envisioned torment as the poet

seesaws on the threshold of uneasiness in chase of his via negative. In 1973

Strand published The Story of Our Lifes, more explicitly autobiographical than

anything he had written earlier. It includes a dramatic lament for the poet & # 8217 ; s male parent.

The Late Hour ( 1978 ) is among the strongest of Strand & # 8217 ; s several books, incorporating

verse forms for the poet & # 8217 ; s boy and girl, and a figure of verse forms ( such as & # 8216 ; The Late Hour & # 8217 ; ,

& # 8216 ; Snowfall & # 8217 ; , and & # 8216 ; The Garden & # 8217 ; ) that possess a deeply elegiac quality. In this book, Strand

began composing with a freshness and simpleness that recall the poesy of ancient China.

As the Mexican poet Octavio Paz has written: & # 8216 ; Mark Strand has chosen the negative way,

with loss as the first measure towards comprehensiveness: it is besides the gap to a transparent

verbal perfection. & # 8217 ; Strand & # 8217 ; s Selected Poems ( New York, 1980 ) adds to antecedently

published work a figure of attractively realized autobiographical verse forms, including

& # 8216 ; Shooting Whales & # 8217 ; and & # 8216 ; Nights in Hackett & # 8217 ; s Cove & # 8217 ; . Strand has besides published a book of

short narratives, several interlingual renditions from European and Latin American poets, and an

anthology of contemporar

y poesy. For unfavorable judgment, see Richard Howard, Alone with

American ( New York, 1969 ) .

From The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English. Ed. Ian

Hamilton. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994. Copyright? 1994 by Oxford University

Imperativeness.

Jonathan Aaron

The Monument ( 1978 ) . . . showed that Strand had non lost his religion

in the utilizations of self-mockery. A book of “ notes, observations, instructions, harangues, and

disclosures ” satirising the impression of literary immortality, it was Strand & # 8217 ; s reply to

a inquiry he & # 8217 ; d heard asked at a interlingual rendition conference: “ How would you wish to be

translated in five hundred old ages? ” Strand thought it a “ fabulous inquiry. It

stumped everyone. ” The book was his reply. Harry Ford ( Strand & # 8217 ; s editor so at

Atheneum and now at Knopf, to whom Strand has ever been devoted ) turned The Memorial

down, believing “ it would destroy my calling. I think he meant that it was bad, tasteless,

and would pique my coevalss. ” In its playfully barbed irreverence, the book

seemed out of maintaining with Strand & # 8217 ; s apparently more serious authorship. It looked so to

some like a incorrect move. Today it seems a brightly prescient amusement.

After Selected Poems came out in 1980, Strand hit something of a wall. “ I

gave up [ composing verse forms ] that twelvemonth, ” he says, looking back. “ I didn & # 8217 ; t like what I

was composing, I didn & # 8217 ; t believe in my autobiographical verse forms. ” He began to concentrate

on news media and art unfavorable judgment. He wrote the sweetly capricious comedies collected in Mr.

and Mrs. Baby and Other Narratives ( 1985 ) , which featured the likes of Glover Bartlett,

who reveals to his married woman that he used to be a collie, or the unidentified storyteller who & # 8217 ; s

certain his male parent has returned to life as a fly, so as a Equus caballus, and eventually as his

girlfriend. In scenes that ranged from modern-day Southern California to the Arcadia

of Greek myth, Strand explored new attacks to lampoon and sarcasm and, in making so, began

to work himself free of what he felt were the inventive and stylistic restrictions of

dramatic dignity. “ And so, ” he says, “ in 1985, I read Robert

Fitzgerald & # 8217 ; s interlingual rendition of The Aeneid. I decided I & # 8217 ; 500 seek a verse form, and I wrote

`Cento Virgilianus, & # 8217 ; and I was away and running. ”

The Continuous Life, Strand & # 8217 ; s first book of verse forms in ten old ages, appeared in 1990,

incorporating both verse forms and short prose narrations. More varied in dramatic range and tone

than his old aggregations, its wit pointed yet brooding, The Continuous Life offered

dryly affecting positions of vanishing universes ( “ The Idea, ” “ Cento

Virgilianus, ” “ Luminism, ” “ Life in the Valley ” ) , its prose pieces

bitterly amusing send-ups of assorted facets of the literary endeavor ( “ From a Lost

Diary, ” “ Narrative Poetry, ” “ Translation ” ) . It signaled Strand & # 8217 ; s

complete recovery of poetic intent and poise. His most recent aggregation, Dark Harbor

( 1993 ) , a long verse form in 45 parts, reads like a book of dreams and studies on

dreams. An episodic journey full of both day-to-day and fabulous incident, it amounts to a

fearful perceptual experience of the ego as Dante-like in a dusky universe full of beauty and threat,

pervaded, eventually, by a deep sense of mortality.

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