Friday, January 2, 2009
I Saw Mark Strand Read When I Was 19. Later Came His Pulitzer.
What To Think Of
Think of the jungle,The green stream rising.
It is yours.You are the prince of Paraguay.
Your minions kneel
Deep in the shade of giant leaves
While you drive by
Benevolent as gold. They kiss the air
That moments before
Swept over your skin,
And rise only after you’ve passed.
Think of yourself, almost a god,
Your hair on fire,
The bellows of your heart pumping.
Think of the bats
Rushing out of their caves
Like a dark wind to greet you;
Of the vast nocturnal cities
Of lightning bugs
From Minas Gerais;
Of the coral snakes;
Of the crimson birds
With emerald beaks;
Of the tons and tons of morpho butterflies
Filling the air
Like the cold confetti of paradise
Men are running across a field,
pens fall from their pockets.
People out walking will pick them up.
It is one of the ways letters are written.
How things fall to others!
The self no longer belonging to me, but asleep
in a stranger’s shadow, now clothing
the stranger, now leading him off.
It is noon as I write to you.
Someone’s life has come into my hands.
The sun whitens the buildings.
It is all I have. I give it all to you. Yours,
The professors of English have taken their gowns
to the laundry, have taken themselves to the fields.
Dreams of motion circle the Persian rug in a room you were in.
On the beach the sadness of gramophones
deepens the ocean’s folding and falling.
It is yesterday. It is still yesterday.
– Mark Strand