Mark Strand (born 11 April 1934) is a Canadian-born American poet, essayist, and translator. He was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1990. Since 2005–06, he has been a professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.
Strand was born on Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada. His early years were spent in North America, while much of his teenage years were spent in South and Central America. In 1957, he earned his B.A. from Antioch College in Ohio. Strand then studied painting under Josef Albers at Yale University where he earned a B.F.A in 1959. On a Fulbright Scholarship, Strand studied nineteenth-century Italian poetry in Italy during 1960–1961. He attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa the following year and earned a Master of Arts in 1962. In 1965 he spent a year in Brazil as a Fulbright Lecturer.
Photo Credit: © Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, All rights reserved.
I empty myself of the names of others. I empty my pockets.
I empty my shoes and leave them beside the road.
At night I turn back the clocks;
It shines in the garden,
in the white foliage of the chestnut tree,
in the brim of my father's hat
as he walks on the gravel.
A rough sound was polished until it became
a smoother sound, which was polished until
it became music.