The Birdcage Archives

Wednesday 3 December 2014

Mark Stand – Former US Poet Laureate Passes

Hello Gentle Reader

The Pulitzer Poet, and former Poet Laureate for the United States, had passed away at the age of eight. Strand died in his daughter’s home in Brooklyn; and though physically he has moved on his words, do remain. His poems abandoned the kitsch, and the over elaborated poetry that has been celebrated for far too long. Instead Strand like poets before him, and surely more to come after him, have abandoned the purple quality of poetry of the traditional poets of the English language; and instead used concrete words, and deserted the rhyme and meter; for more narrative like structures, that engulfed the poetry. Strand originally had wanted to be a painter; but after completing his BFA from Yale University, the aspiration had all but waned. Strand soon turned to poetry, and earned a MFA from Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Afterwards Strand entered the lecture circuit and in the nineteen-sixties, was like many poets – an underground intellectual pop star. His earlier poems were noted by man reviewers and critics, that his poetry was often dark and brooding. Yet Strand himself thought, the poems were evenly lit, and no as dark as they were often made out to be. Though as Strand matured, so did his poetry and his poetry became investigative with urbane wit. Strand’s writing career, surpasses poetry and lectures. He has written children’s books, a collection of short stories; as well as essays on art criticism, but also poetry there again. Strand in his now more matured years, stopped writing poetry and once again returned to the art world, in which he faded from. He began making collages from paper, and soon his love of the literary, and the stationary found its place into earlier ambitions of being an artist. Yet when I personally think of Strand, I am left with the story of the shared glass of gin that the then young poet had shared with WH Auden. The story is built upon an almost cat and mouse game; with homoerotic undertones. Strand at the time had only one proper glass, to share the drink from; and so the two poets agreed to share from the same glass. Auden it is said openly drank from the glass where Strands lips had just parted from. Strand then skillfully avoided the same contact; and drank from another spot on the glass.

Thank-you For Reading Gentle Reader
Take Care
And As Always Stay Well Read
*And Remember: Downloading Books Illegally is Thievery and Wrong.*

M. Mary

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