Mark Strand Essay

& # 8217 ; s Life And Career Essay, Research PaperJay PariniStrand was born in Canada on Prince Edward Island.

He studied atAntioch College, where he took a BA. He besides received a BFA from Yale, where he studiedpicture. 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 subsequentlytaught at Iowa for three old ages.

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In 1965 he spent a twelvemonth as Fulbright Lecturer at theUniversity 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 goodtrade, learning at many American universities, including Columbia, Princeton, Harvard, andthe 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 ofdreams, shot through with images possessing a queerly stalking color, as in & # 8216 ; TheGhost 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 ; TheMailman & # 8217 ; , where a wraith-like postman visits the storyteller at midnight to present & # 8216 ; awfulpersonal intelligence & # 8217 ; . In & # 8216 ; The Last Bus & # 8217 ; the poet imagines Rio de Janeiro, naming the sea & # 8216 ; adream & # 8217 ; in which the metropolis & # 8216 ; dies and is reborn & # 8217 ; .

The verse form is surreal in a mode thatcombines the surreal quality of Pablo Neruda with facets of incubus that callback suchEuropean 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. / Thereis no felicity like mine. / I have been eating poetry. & # 8217 ; This fantastic surrealism besidesanimates 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 poetseesaws on the threshold of uneasiness in chase of his via negative. In 1973Strand published The Story of Our Lifes, more explicitly autobiographical thananything 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, incorporatingverse 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, Strandbegan 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 transparentverbal perfection. & # 8217 ; Strand & # 8217 ; s Selected Poems ( New York, 1980 ) adds to antecedentlypublished 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 ofshort narratives, several interlingual renditions from European and Latin American poets, and ananthology of contemporary poesy. For unfavorable judgment, see Richard Howard, Alone withAmerican ( New York, 1969 ) .From The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English. Ed.

IanHamilton. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994. Copyright? 1994 by Oxford UniversityImperativeness.Jonathan AaronThe Monument ( 1978 ) . . .

showed that Strand had non lost his religionin the utilizations of self-mockery. A book of “ notes, observations, instructions, harangues, anddisclosures ” satirising the impression of literary immortality, it was Strand & # 8217 ; s reply toa inquiry he & # 8217 ; d heard asked at a interlingual rendition conference: “ How would you wish to betranslated in five hundred old ages? ” Strand thought it a “ fabulous inquiry. Itstumped everyone. ” The book was his reply. Harry Ford ( Strand & # 8217 ; s editor so atAtheneum and now at Knopf, to whom Strand has ever been devoted ) turned The Memorialdown, 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 bookseemed out of maintaining with Strand & # 8217 ; s apparently more serious authorship.

It looked so tosome like a incorrect move. Today it seems a brightly prescient amusement.After Selected Poems came out in 1980, Strand hit something of a wall. “ Igave up [ composing verse forms ] that twelvemonth, ” he says, looking back.

“ I didn & # 8217 ; t like what Iwas composing, I didn & # 8217 ; t believe in my autobiographical verse forms. ” He began to concentrateon 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 ; scertain his male parent has returned to life as a fly, so as a Equus caballus, and eventually as hisgirlfriend. In scenes that ranged from modern-day Southern California to the Arcadiaof Greek myth, Strand explored new attacks to lampoon and sarcasm and, in making so, beganto work himself free of what he felt were the inventive and stylistic restrictions ofdramatic dignity. “ And so, ” he says, “ in 1985, I read RobertFitzgerald & # 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 tonethan his old aggregations, its wit pointed yet brooding, The Continuous Life offereddryly affecting positions of vanishing universes ( “ The Idea, ” “ CentoVirgilianus, ” “ Luminism, ” “ Life in the Valley ” ) , its prose piecesbitterly amusing send-ups of assorted facets of the literary endeavor ( “ From a LostDiary, ” “ Narrative Poetry, ” “ Translation ” ) .

It signaled Strand & # 8217 ; scomplete 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 ondreams. An episodic journey full of both day-to-day and fabulous incident, it amounts to afearful 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.342

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