Mark Strand by Harold Bloom

By Harold Bloom

Offers biographical and important details at the poet Mark Strand, discussing a few of his preferred works, together with the tale of Our Lives, how it Is, Elegy for My Father, and darkish Harbor

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A partial explanation for this intense sense of alienation may be found in how this early speaker characterizes reality. It is perhaps his paranoia that makes him emphasize so strongly the dangers that lurk there. Injury and illness are among these but most important is the fact of death, the ultimate assault of nature 40 against the self. The poem “Violent Storm” expresses much of this feeling by talking about the dangers inherent in bad weather. Superficial people may be able to party as the hurricane bears down upon the coast, it is true, But for us, the wide-awake, who tend To believe the worst is always waiting Around the next corner or hiding in the dry, Unsteady branch of a sick tree, debating Whether or not to fell the passerby, It has a sinister air.

Injury and illness are among these but most important is the fact of death, the ultimate assault of nature 40 against the self. The poem “Violent Storm” expresses much of this feeling by talking about the dangers inherent in bad weather. Superficial people may be able to party as the hurricane bears down upon the coast, it is true, But for us, the wide-awake, who tend To believe the worst is always waiting Around the next corner or hiding in the dry, Unsteady branch of a sick tree, debating Whether or not to fell the passerby, It has a sinister air.

In this way, the son tries to collect answers to questions that are so emotional and clouded by memory that they are hard to articulate. By the end of the section, the father becomes so exhausted he can no longer answer the questions; he can only repeat them back in affirmation to his son. The section gains much of its power because it is so reminiscent of Strand himself. The father’s answers which initially joke also ultimately lead to a 42 larger truth, one in which the son has absolute faith.

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