Poet 11: Mark Strand

I found many of his poems dear and others quite odd.

"Old People on the Nursing Home Porch" made me think of my visits with mom at Sterling Senior Community. I would love to sit and listen to these elderly people tell their stories. I wanted to write a book called Waiting to Die at Sterling. It was a sad thing to see so many of them have to sit there day in and day out so bored and lonely. I felt for my mom who spent so many of her days in the same way. I ached to have her live near or with me so that I could visit with her daily and have the boys and George visit with her too, but it was not meant to be.

This commentary on the poem resonated with me:

In this clearly-written poem, Strand creates a single, sustained image: a porch of elderly persons rocking quietly in the face of meaninglessness. There is no redemption, there is no escape but death. Perhaps, however, it is their isolation in the nursing home that robs them (and their stories) of meaning. What if they were rocking instead on the porches of their own homes, or the homes of their children? (from the Literature, Arts, and Medicine Data Base of NYU)

Here is the poem in Google Books: "Old People on the Nursing Home Porch"

He was born in Canada but spent much of his time in the US and South America.

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