The Audible Light of Words: Mark Strand on Poetry and the Self
Keywords:American poetry, Mark Strand, poetics, criticism, the self
The aim of this paper is to look at American poet Mark Strand’s thinking about what poetry is all about, as expressed in his poetry collections and prose works, especially in The Monument (1978), a book of “notes, observations, rants, and revelations” about literary immortality, but also a meditation on “the translation of a self, and the text as self, the self as book”; in The Continuous Life (1990), a collection of luminous pieces on various aspects of the literary enterprise, including reading, translation and the multitude of selves making up the self; and in The Weather of Words: Poetic Invention (2000), a collection of insightful essays in which the poet discusses the essentials of poetry as something made by the human imagination, the meaning or content of a poem, and the creative process with the guidance of such preeminent minds as those of Carl Jung, Paul Valéry and Wallace Stevens.
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