Knopf Poem-a-Day: April 12, Mark Strand’s “The Night, The Porch”

The crux of the matter: on the porch with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mark Strand.

The Night, The Porch

To stare at nothing is to learn by heart
What all of us will be swept into, and baring oneself
To the wind is feeling the ungraspable somewhere close by.
Trees can sway or be still. Day or night can be what they wish.
What we desire, more than a season or weather, is the comfort
Of being strangers, at least to ourselves. This is the crux
Of the matter, which is why even now we seem to be waiting
For something whose appearance would be its vanishing—
The sound, say, of a few leaves falling, or just one leaf,
Or less. There is no end to what we can learn. The book out there
Tells us as much, and was never written with us in mind.

Download the printable broadside of Mark Strand’s “The Night, The Porch.”

Learn more about Mark Strand’s New Selected Poems and browse other titles by Mark Strand.

Excerpt from NEW SELECTED POEMS. Copyright © 2007 by Mark Strand. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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