Keeping Things Whole

In a field I am the absence of field.

In a field
I am the absence
of field.

I still love this book as much as I did when I was an Emily not an Emma.

I still love this book as much as I did when I was an Emily not an Emma.

I first fell in love with Mark Strand’s work in eighth grade, when our teacher assigned The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry and I devoured every single page.  Mark Strand’s work made me stop and sit and think for a spell, and that spell never ended.  The pages that carry his words have been so worn and worried and wondered over that they’ve almost fallen out of the book, and his work defines skill and restraint.  From him, one learns the importance of quiet and the fact that silence can speak more loudly than any word.  One learns the power of standing back and looking and thinking.  One learns the power of the un-worded parts of the page. Strand passed away on November 29th, and I wanted to post this poem of his, which has meant so much to me.

(but WordPress is awful and won’t put in the stanza breaks so you can see them here)

Keeping Things Whole

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.
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