Almost Invisible: Poems

Almost Invisible Poems From Pulitzer Prize winner Mark Strand comes an exquisitely witty and poignant series of prose poems Sometimes appearing as pure prose sometimes as impure poetry but always with Strand s clarity and

  • Title: Almost Invisible: Poems
  • Author: Mark Strand
  • ISBN: 9780307957313
  • Page: 189
  • Format: Hardcover
  • From Pulitzer Prize winner Mark Strand comes an exquisitely witty and poignant series of prose poems Sometimes appearing as pure prose, sometimes as impure poetry, but always with Strand s clarity and simplicity of style, they are like riddles, their answers vanishing just as they appear within reach Fable, domestic satire, meditation, joke, and fantasy all come togetherFrom Pulitzer Prize winner Mark Strand comes an exquisitely witty and poignant series of prose poems Sometimes appearing as pure prose, sometimes as impure poetry, but always with Strand s clarity and simplicity of style, they are like riddles, their answers vanishing just as they appear within reach Fable, domestic satire, meditation, joke, and fantasy all come together in what is arguably the liveliest, most entertaining book that Strand has yet written.

    One thought on “Almost Invisible: Poems”

    1. Mark Strand was one of my professors back in the day (I cross-registered in one of his semester-long poetry workshops for advanced undergrads back when I was a second-year medical student), but this is only the second poetry collection of his that I've read from cover to cover. ( helpfully reminds me that the first was Strand's Man and Camel, which I read and reviewed here in 2010.)The slim 2012 volume Almost Invisible, which clocks in at a modest 48 pages in length, was Strand's last published [...]

    2. Mark Strand's surprising (after Blizzard of One) collection of prose poems starts off with an epigraph from Mr. Micawber ("something will turn up!") of David Copperfield. This is a signal to hold on to our sense of humor* as we read our way through some dark – but hardly bitter – reflections on the end of life, the end of talent, the ends of all kinds of things that open unexpectedly into dream corridors, or to gentle figura appearing at the edge of consciousness, rueful images of our distan [...]

    3. Me ha gustado bastante. Es un conjunto de poemas escritos en prosa que sin duda te harán reflexionar.La pluma del autor es impecable y aunque sí que es verdad que no conseguí identificarme con muchos de ellos, sí que me encantó conocer la forma de pensar del autor y ver su huella en cada palabra.Un poemario bastante recomentable que se lee en poco más de treinta minutos.

    4. In working through Mark Stand's, "Almost Invisible" I found myself wanting to rename it, "The Bearable Heaviness of Nonbeing."Thematically the poems make a powerful statement of a poet caught somewhere between night and day, between life and death, between consciousness and dreams. From "The Enigma of the Infinitesimal""You've seen them at dusk, walking along the shore, seen them standing in doorways Lovers of the in-between, they are neither here nor there, neither in nor out."From "Ever So Man [...]

    5. Almost Invisible consists almost entirely of paragraph-long prose poems—there's just one piece, the poem-within-a-poem of "Poem of the Spanish Poet," that deviates from that form at all. I like prose poems, generally, the way they sometimes could almost be called short-short stories, and I like these prose poems, the way that in bite-sized pieces they blend humor and nostalgia and uncertainty. I like the vagueness of some of these poems, like "Bury Your Face in Your Hands", with its images of [...]

    6. Mark Strand - per me il più grande dei poeti contemporanei - questa volta si presenta con una raccolta di brevi prose che ripercorrono con ispirazione e slancio immutati i temi classici della sua poetica, il tutto sottolineato da un stile apparentemente leggero, che la scelta di espressione stilistica rende quasi colloquiale. L'oggetto della sua osservazione è la realtà, ma solo in apparenza. Se entriamo nel mondo del poeta ci accorgiamo che le cose non sono esattamente quello che sembrano e [...]

    7. In the old days, my thoughts like tiny sparks would flare up in the almost dark of consciousness and I would transcribe them, and page after page shone with a light that I called my own. I would sit at my desk amazed by what had just happened. And even as I watched the lights fade and my thoughts become small, meaningless memorials in the afterglow of so much promise, I was still amazed. And when they disappeared, as they inevitably did, I was ready to begin again, ready to sit in the dark for h [...]

    8. Amazing prose poems, such as: BURY YOUR FACE IN YOUR HANDSBecause we have crossed the river and the wind offers only a numb uncoiling of cold and we have meekly adapted, no longer expecting more than we have been given, nor wondering how it happened that we came to this place, we don't mind that nothing turned out as we thought it might. There is no way to clear the haze in which we live, no way to know that we have undergone another day. The silent snow of thought melts before it has a chance t [...]

    9. All of these poems seemed to be about aging, the passage of time, the disappearance of man and memory. A few will haunt me ("The Emergency Room at Dusk", "Exhaustion at Sunset"), but most will vanish the moment I return this slim volume to the library.

    10. Wow! These short prose pieces transport the reader to other dimensions, sweep us back and forward in time and swirl dangerously close to oblivion. Not all are successful poems but those that are will break your heart and make you smile at the same time.

    11. Meditative, humorous, sometimes frightening. A very quick read (all one page prose poems) but some you will want to share or come back to.

    12. “Something nameless hums us into sleep We feel dreamed by someone else, a sleeping counterpart…”"Qualcosa senza nome ci borbotta in sonno Siamo sognati da qualcun altro, una controparte che dorme "I sogni sono sempre stati un mistero nella vita degli uomini, indipendentemente dalla loro razza, colore, lingua, cultura o età. Una mia amica virtuale, Marzia Marni Mazzavillani, li studia da anni, non so con quali risultati. Sollecitano da millenni le arti, le scienze e le filosofie in egual [...]

    13. One of my favorite Strand poems of all time is "A Piece of the Storm" from his collection Blizzard of One. Just because I love it so much, here it is:A Piece of the StormFor Sharon HorvathFrom the shadow of domes in the city of domes, A snowflake, a blizzard of one, weightless, entered your roomAnd made its way to the arm of the chair where you, looking up From your book, saw it the moment it landed. That's all There was to it. No more than a solemn waking To brevity, to the lifting and falling [...]

    14. A Banker in the Brothel of Blind WomenA banker strutted into the brothel of blind women. “I am a shepherd,” he announced, “and blow my shepherd’s pipe as often as I can, but I have lost my flock and feel that I am at a critical point in my life.” “I can tell by the way you talk,” said one of the women, “that you are a banker only pretending to be a shepherd and that you want us to pity you, which we do because you have stooped so low as to try to make fools of us.” “My dear, [...]

    15. Strand said, in the annotations for The Best of American Poetry 2011 that his next book will be a prose-poem collection. And so it is: his latest collection, Almost Invisible, is quite a departure from the Pulitzer-winning Blizzard of One. The signposts are clear; while that trademark meditative tone and the simplicity of Strand's diction are retained, the poet struggles to get out of his familiar "voice" or style and plays up instead elements borrowed from fiction and culled from fables. The ve [...]

    16. Mark Strand contemplates death as a self-abnegating, other-creating force in 50 enigmatic, elliptical prose poems which flicker in and out of sight like Will-o'-Wisps on the edges of your vision. Structured as quasi-fables with no morals (or with the moral being that there is no moral), these self-effacing poems present the impossibility of life, love and knowing with glee and longing. On their own, each poem is like a quick sketch -- a wry joke, a half-remembered dream -- but taken as a whole t [...]

    17. What can I say about Mark Strand that hasn't already been said? I admire his poetry for being simple and precise, with a dash of the unexpected, and the poems in his newest collection are no exception. When a poem leaves you simultaneously moved and unsettled, you know you are reading the work of a master, a master of language and imagery and voice, and even humor. As I made my way through "Almost Invisible," I stuck a post-it by my favorite poems, and by the end realized that I had stuck around [...]

    18. Prose poems that move from funny to hart warming to bitter to sad. Like the best poetry it takes you forever to move on to the next poem because you have to read and reread and reread again not because you don't understand but because you want to. that being said there are poems you will not understand, almost like riddles. But they are no less enjoyable for it. Will read this again.

    19. A los pies de Mark Strand ♥"Cada vez que pensaba en mi enfermedad oía el sonido melancólico de una viola. Cuando le describí mi enfermedad al médico, éste oyó el mismo sonido. "Debería guardarse su enfermedad para sí", me dijo. Un despejado día de verano salí afuera; algunos cuervos se juntaron a mi alrededor y guardaron silencio. Lo interpreté como un homenaje a la belleza oculta de mi enfermedad. Cuando se lo conté al médico, respondió: "Su enfermedad puede estar propagándose [...]

    20. I memorized "Reasons for Moving" after a woman browsing next to me in a bookstore in Vermont read it aloud to her friend from one of his poetry collections which I subsequently bought when I was on vacation at age 17. I read this straight through yesterday, twice over each and as lingeringly as I could on a stalled el train. As with all condensed and evocative pieces, will need to spend more time with them but particularly liked "Clarities of the Nonexistent," "The Everyday Enchantment of Music, [...]

    21. Only one poem in this collection that I really enjoyed, Poem of the Spanish Poet. Although I have enjoyed prose poems in the past, these really don't seem to go anywhere. At least for me. I'm disappointed because Strand is a poet I like. A friend of mine from Wisconsin, Jack Lehman, himself a longtime writer and poet, has said that great poetry isn't really about our going through contortions to understand it, but for the poems to listen to us, and to speak to us for meaning. Simply put, these d [...]

    22. I really love Mark Strand; several of his volumes of poetry are on my favorites list, but this is not one of them. One or two of the prose poems included, I liked; a few more were enjoyable, but mostly I simply applaud the exercise of doing/trying something different. The form, I don't believe, brought out something wonderous in Strand's work and other volumes that seemed experimental were much more impactful, refreshing and profound.

    23. Reminiscent, for me, of Edson and some Tate. A few, like “Provisional Eternity” feel more like aphorisms than prose poems. Some of my favorite moments:“The silent snow of thought melts before it has a chance to stick.”“A rough sound was polished until it became a smoother sound, which was polished until it became music.”“The empty heart comes home from a long day at the office.”“His desperation is not my desperation.” “‘I’m home,” said the husband. ‘Not again,’ sa [...]

    24. What an interesting little collection. Very difficult to describe, you just need to read it, and go with it. Only one produced a staring-off-into-space moment upon completion, but only a few produced boredom. I don't know it's difficult to find the words to describe Strand's pieces, and difficult to find the words to describe my reaction to them. Good reading on a crisp fall evening.

    25. The form of these prose poems is similar to the stuff I've been writing lately. I wanted to give it five stars just for that but then I realized how sort of impossible it is to read or understand or make much of and I know I can do better than that. I can hide in prose poems (or flash fiction, if you prefer; not sure where the line falls) but there's more to it than that.

    26. For all their brevity, these poems are heavy and philosophical. Strand is a master of language but some of these felt too much about cleverness for me. I didn't quite feel that I was the reader being addressed. Titles are stellar.

    27. I like Mark Strand's poetry. In my MFA years, his Selected Poems was one of my favorite books. But I really had a hard time getting into this one. I'm not sure why. There were moments I really got into individual pieces, but I was strangely disconnected. I'm sad about that.

    28. Strand was a great poet I always read with great pleasure, nevertheless this collection waxes and wanes. Four stars because his writing is always elegant and clear and because "The Enigma of Infinitesimal" blew my mind.

    29. Another extraordinary collection from Strand. The estrangement and dislocation that these poems signify, lies just beneath the glossy beautiful surface. Think Wallace Stevens refracted through a latter day Cheever.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *