Mark Strand

Rookie (Prince Edward Island, Canada)

Keeping Things Whole - Poem by Mark Strand

In a field
I am the absence
of field.
This is
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.

When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body's been.

We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.


Comments about Keeping Things Whole by Mark Strand

  • Rajnish Manga (1/23/2018 9:56:00 PM)


    I have enjoyed reading this fine piece of poetry yet again. The profoundness of the subject inspired me to translate it in Hindi way back- on Dec 5,2016. Thanks. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Savita Tyagi (1/23/2018 8:05:00 PM)


    This I wether He parts the air or moves us is certainly the One whole in itself and keeps the field whole too. Enjoyed this excellent poetic intake of Upanishadic philosophy. (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (1/23/2018 4:20:00 PM)


    I like this even more than I liked it when I first commented on it. Teaches us how simple words can carry an impressive impact and meaningfulness. (Report) Reply

  • Glen Kappy (1/23/2018 6:56:00 AM)


    I wonder what, if any, applications Strand had in mind beyond the literal meaning of this poem. -GK (Report) Reply

  • Fabrizio Frosini (5/28/2016 6:29:00 AM)


    in Italian:

    'Tenere le cose insieme'

    In un campo
    Io sono l'assenza
    del campo.
    E'
    sempre così.
    Ovunque io sia
    Sono ciò che manca.

    Quando cammino
    sposto e separo l'aria
    e sempre
    l'aria rientra
    a riempire lo spazio
    che il mio corpo occupava.

    Tutti noi abbiamo motivi
    per spostarci.
    Io mi muovo
    per tenere le cose insieme.
    (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (5/12/2016 2:55:00 AM)


    The poem tries to justify the rationale behind what we are and why we are. Enjoyed reading this philosophical poem. Thanks. (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (10/27/2015 3:16:00 PM)


    He both believes in keeping it simple [simple words, simple phrases, no meter, no rhyme], and making it as deep and surreal and overflowing with meaning as possible. It's like he has a split personality... come to think about it, so do we all. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (10/27/2015 7:46:00 AM)


    Spaces! Aces; with the muse of life. Nice piece. (Report) Reply

  • (10/27/2015 7:02:00 AM)


    Deeply profound! This poem certainly went through me - not around me! (Report) Reply

  • Dylan Charles (10/27/2015 5:32:00 AM)


    It is there when I am not, leaving your mark on a world that hints at your passing
    Superb
    (Report) Reply

  • Jasbir Chatterjee (10/27/2015 4:56:00 AM)


    Whether we move or don't move, nature always has its own ways of balancing out things and keeping them whole. (Report) Reply

  • (10/27/2015 4:27:00 AM)


    this is one of the greatest poems, written by great writes (Report) Reply

  • Babatunde Aremu (10/27/2015 3:59:00 AM)


    Great write! Yes, there are reasons for every step we take. Our movement should be to make and not to mar. (Report) Reply

  • Seema Jayaraman (10/27/2015 2:37:00 AM)


    Profound...When I walk
    I part the air
    and always
    the air moves in
    to fill the spaces
    where my body's been.. Nature works so hard to keep things whole.. thanks for sharing
    (Report) Reply

  • Savita Tyagi (10/27/2015 1:45:00 AM)


    Defining what can't be defined! Poetry at its best. (Report) Reply

  • Rahman Henry (10/27/2015 1:08:00 AM)


    Excellent thought. Indeed, poetry is the beauty of thought. (Report) Reply

  • (7/11/2015 10:12:00 AM)


    The fullness of absence; things are best known, most felt when they are absent, or appear to be. Beautiful, as always, poetry. (Report) Reply

Read all 17 comments »




What do you think this poem is about?



Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 11, 2013

Poem Edited: Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
[Report Error]