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Saturday, April 10, 2021

What Cantankerousness?

“A great many people seem to think writing poetry is worthwhile, even though it pays next to nothing and is not as widely read as it should be.” – Mark Strand

Born on April 11, 1934 on Prince Edward Island, Canada (also home to the fictional Anne of Green Gables), Strand was recognized as one of the premier poets of his generation as well as an accomplished editor, translator, and prose writer.

Named the U.S. poet laureate in 1990, Strand’s career spanned five decades, and he won numerous accolades from critics and a loyal following among readers. In 1999 he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his collection Blizzard of One.  For Saturday’s Poem, here is Strand’s, 


The Garden


It shines in the garden,
in the white foliage of the chestnut tree,
in the brim of my father's hat
as he walks on the gravel.

In the garden suspended in time
my mother sits in a redwood chair:
light fills the sky,
the folds of her dress,
the roses tangled beside her.

And when my father bends
to whisper in her ear,
when they rise to leave
and the swallows dart
and the moon and stars
have drifted off together, it shines.

Even as you lean over this page,
late and alone, it shines: even now
in the moment before it disappears.




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