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Mark Strand’s Eating Poetry

July 22, 2009

Today I came across this, by an American poet called Mark Strand who, in my vast ignorance, I had never heard of.  I love this poem, despite not really understanding, or being able to say why it takes me ….


Eating Poetry

Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.

The librarian does not believe what she sees.
Her eyes are sad
and she walks with her hands in her dress.

The poems are gone.
The light is dim.
The dogs are on the basement stairs and coming up.

Their eyeballs roll,
their blond legs burn like brush.
The poor librarian begins to stamp her feet and weep.

She does not understand.
When I get on my knees and lick her hand,
she screams.

I am a new man.
I snarl at her and bark.
I romp with joy in the bookish dark.

It is from his Selected Poems – and there’s more about Mark Strand and his poetry here and here.  Turns out my ignorance is even greater than I thought – he has been a Pulitzer winner as well as American Poet Laureate, and very distinguished all in all. I am going to buy one of his books now, in the hope he doesn’t mind my reproduction of his strange and disturbingly beautiful poem here.


One comment

  1. You might enjoy: Tasting to Eternity (google)



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