The Minister of Culture Gets His Wish

By Mark Strand 1934–2014 Mark Strand
The Minister of Culture goes home after a grueling day at the office. He lies on his bed and tries to think of nothing, but nothing hap-pens or, more precisely, does not happen. Nothing is elsewhere doing what nothing does, which is to expand the dark. But the minister is patient, and slowly things slip away—the walls of his house, the park across the street, his friends in the next town. He believes that nothing has finally come to him and, in its absent way, is saying, “Darling, you know how much I have always wanted to please you, and now I have come. And what is more, I have come to stay.”

Source: Poetry (January 2011).

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This poem originally appeared in the January 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

January 2011
 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 Social Commentaries, History & Politics

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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