The Garden

By Mark Strand b. 1934 Mark Strand

for Robert Penn Warren

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.

Mark Strand, “The Garden” from Selected Poems. Copyright © 1979, 1980 by Mark Strand. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.

Source: Selected Poems (Alfred A. Knopf, 1990)

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Poet Mark Strand b. 1934

Subjects Family & Ancestors, Relationships, Gardening, Activities

 Mark  Strand

Biography

Mark Strand is recognized as one of the premier contemporary American poets 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 has spanned nearly four decades, and he has . . .

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SUBJECT Family & Ancestors, Relationships, Gardening, Activities

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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