Keeping Things Whole

By Mark Strand 1934–2014 Mark Strand
In a field
I am the absence
of field.
This is
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.

When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in   
to fill the spaces
where my body’s been.

We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.

Mark Strand, "Keeping Things Whole" from Selected Poems. Copyright © 1979, 1980 by Mark Strand.  Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. 

Source: Selected Poems (Alfred A. Knopf, 2002)

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Poet Mark Strand 1934–2014

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Nature, The Body

 Mark  Strand

Biography

Mark Strand was recognized as one of the premier American poets of his generation as well as an accomplished editor, translator, and prose writer. The hallmarks of his style are precise language, surreal imagery, and the recurring theme of absence and negation; later collections investigate ideas of the self with pointed, often urbane wit. Named the U.S. Poet Laureate in 1990, Strand’s career spanned five decades, and he won . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, The Body

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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