Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Blizzard of One: Poems” as Want to Read:
Blizzard of One: Poems
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Blizzard of One: Poems

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  723 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Strand's poems occupy a place that exists between abstraction and the sensuous particulars of experience. It is a place created by a voice that moves with unerring ease between the commonplace and the sublime. The poems are filled with "the weather of leavetaking," but they are also unexpectedly funny. The erasure of self and the depredations of time are seen as sources of ...more
Hardcover, 72 pages
Published May 5th 1998 by Knopf (first published 1998)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Blizzard of One, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Blizzard of One

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,185)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Old Man Leaves Party

It was clear when I left the party
That though I was over eighty I still had
A beautiful body. The moon shone down as it will
On moments of deep introspection. The wind held its breath.
And look, somebody left a mirror leaning against a tree.
Making sure that I was alone, I took off my shirt.
The flowers of bear grass nodded their moonwashed heads.
I took off my pants and the magpies circled the redwoods.
Down in the valley the creaking river was flowing once more.
How strange that I
I'm guessing Strand won the Pulitzer more for the work he did BEFORE this book, rather than for this book itself. Not that the book was bad, I just don't think it was deserving of the Pulitzer.

The man is obviously brilliant. I particularly liked "Next Time," and the last of his "A Suite of Appearances." ("Will the same day ever come back, and with it Our amazement at having been in it, or will only a dark haze Spread at the back of the mind, erasing events, one after The other, so brief they may
I settled on 4 stars because I would give some of the poems 5 and others 3 or maybe 2. The section which opened the collection was amazing but I felt the works got steadily lower in quality as the book progressed.

But it, y'know, won a Pulitzer, so whadda I know?

Here's the poem from which the title comes:

From the shadow of domes in the city of domes,
A snowflake, a blizzard of one, weightless, entered your room
And made its way to the arm of the chair where you, looking up
From your book, saw it the
Some Last Words
It is easier for a needle to pass through a camel
Than for a poor man to enter a woman of means.
Just go to the graveyard and ask around.
Eventually, you slip outside, letting the door
Bang shut on your latest thought. What was it anyway?
Just go to the graveyard and ask around.
"Negligence" is the perfume I love.
O Fedora. Fedora. If you want any,
Just go to the graveyard and ask around.
The bones of the buffalo, the rabbit at sunset,
The wind and its double, the tree, the town...
Billy O'Callaghan
An unusual collection. It's quite short, with only twenty poems, a few of which seem to add little to the cause. They are interesting enough (there's a 'row, row, row your boat' quality to 'The Delirium Waltz' that made me smile), and some of the lines really do gleam, so I wouldn't want to go so far as to call them 'filler', but for me they do hang a bit heavy. And yet, this is definitely a collection worth reading, because the good poems here are really very good indeed, and the best of them a ...more
in Mark Strands' words:

I looked at Jane, whose brow was suddenly furrowed with concern. "Surely, Professor, the role of poetry is not just about helping us to remember what we felt at a particular time. This may happen to a poet as he's writing a poem, but certainly I don't read poems that way."

Jane was right. What I had told her and Dick was a fiction. I had invented inadequacy on the public's part and limitation on the poet's part. I knew very well that what I consider "doing justice" in char
The review listed from the publisher here states that Strand's poetry "occupies the space between abstraction and the sensuous particulars of experience." I'm disappointed to say that it doesn't occupy the space BETWEEN those two binaries, Strand's poetry is quite surely in the abstract camp.

For me, at least, this is not a good thing. Most of my favorite poets, Ted Kooser, Galway Kinnell, Marie Howe and Jane Kenyon for instance BEGIN with the concrete, the sensuous, the world. Their imagery does
sara ahmed
out of the 4 books i borrowed from my university's library, i loved this one the most. it's hard to explain why, but some parts sting others force an involuntary smile of sadness? like i said, it's hard to explain.

plus, i think i'm ordering this one + his other books.
And our shadows floated away beneath us towards sunset and darkened the backs of birds, and blackened the sea whose breath smelled slightly of fish, of almonds, and of rotting fruit. A blizzard of coastal aromas had come to collect our attention, and we drifted through all it tried to impart, not knowing where we were going. And soon the air was soiled with dust and iris-colored clouds. [...] And the rush of water was suddenly loud as if a flood were loosed upon the ballroom floor. I seemed to b ...more
Avery Taylor
From the brilliant and unmatched Mark Strand, “Blizzard of One” is yet another masterpiece of the English language, a votive candle to a strange and restless sense of the world we live in. This collection leaves an impression of both timelessness and nostalgia at once, a collection of poems with surprisingly ordinary language, spun into transcendent works of peace and anger and love.

From the poem “A Piece of the Storm”, the work that lends the collection its title, which has a sense of restlessn
A highly meditative collection, this most often put me in mind of being in an isolated winter cabin deep in the woods. Wry at times but not really humorous, definitely on the somber/reflective side. Strand uses long lines here with great success. Many of the poems are multi-sectioned or parts of suites. Personal favorites were "The Night, The Porch" and "In Memory of Joseph Brodsky". This was my first extended encounter with Strand's work and while I did not love it I certainly thought it was wo ...more
this whole collection of poetry did not grab me...but this line "Our masterpiece is the private life" and the poem it comes form stayed with me. I love the idea of a world created by two and in this world, unknown to the rest of the world, a masterpiece is created. is the poem that this line comes from:

"And now, while the advocates of awfulness and sorrow
Push their dripping barge up and down the beach, let's eat
Our brill, and sip this beautiful white Beaune.

True, the light is artific
One of my favorite poetry books of all time, which I reread on the day Mark Strand died, November 29, 2014. It completely held up on rereading. It was interesting to go through the poems with Strand's loss on my mind, as permanence and impermanence were major themes in his work. One example is "A Piece of the Storm," from which the title of the book comes: one stray snowflake becomes a tiny blizzard, which is gone as fast as it began. I was also particularly struck this time around by the end of ...more
Jeremy Allan
This was not the Mark Strand that I wanted to read. There are moments of beauty, of unique vision, of the well-wrought line and the inspired attention. There are fine fine poems. But this is not a book like Reasons for Moving or Darker, where every word seems placed with purpose and at the expense of a thousand lines that had been erased. Where there are meditations, they are meandering, to my mind. This book is loose.

Which is not to say that Blizzard of One contains bad poems, flabby poems, or
False Millennium
I had checked out four of Mark Strand's poetry books, to get stimulated and inspired to start writing my own again. With that said, I enjoy his work, and it did the trick.
These are the poems of a man in his twilight years: cyclical, preoccupied with terminability, results of the conclusion that life doesn't make much sense. Little joy escapes the labored breathing. Each poem seems to erase itself as it is read. Strand's trademark strict scope doesn't help to differentiate pieces, his long lines, while masterful, lack moments, and the collective hum of the book is monophonic. By no means "at the peak of his career," Blizzard of One does indeed document a sort of s ...more
Jul 23, 2009 Bonnie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Matt Christensen
Recommended to Bonnie by: Sweet Library Staff
The former poet laureate of the US, Mark Strand writes his Blizzard of One beautifully. Simple, complicated, plain, overwhelming, a regular dichotomy. Perhaps that's why I liked this small book of poetry so much. Only regret is I wish it were more voluminous and that I had the time to read it again and again. Well, I have the time, but being my usual unsatisfied self, am moving on to the stack of books that weep at my bedside for me.
OK, he's great. A genius. A Pulitzer Prize winner. He's damn good but . . . I just can't get Simic's singularity out of my head when I read other poets. Don't get me wrong, there are others (Sorry, Chalres): Russell Edson, Wislawa Szymborska. But it's kind of like listening to Led Zeppelin and then you go to Deep Purple or Ozzie. Great stuff, but thunderhead genius is so rare.
Ronald Wise
This book of poetry had more variety than the poet's Dark Harbor, which I had just read, but once again I was able to enjoy only momentary glimpses at meaning from its contents. I learned of this book of poetry from a tribute to Strand's birthday (04/11/1934) on Garrison Keilor's Writer's Almanac.
There's something about Mark Strand. A polished elegance, I guess you might say, or a pleasing monotony of structure and subject. If there is a Blizzard of One to be found, it's the similarity of everything Mr Strand writes. It's good, but don't expect wild leaps of invention here.
I would say that this was a disappointing collection, as I like a number of Strand's poems and some of them very much (e.g.,, but Blizzard of One never gave me anything on which to settle a hope that it would rise above banal.
Atlas Can
"- Fuck" that's what good poetry makes me say.
Conocí la nieve a través de este libro y me encantó.
I read a few of these poems every time I am near a copy of this book. I have yet to read all of them but I suppose I should get my own copy. (I love the way this edition is printed, by the way.)
Smooth poems; easy to read. Each poem is a little thought that thinks itself out, a little abstractly, in a likable voice. Halfway through, I wanted them each to have more development.
I thoroughly enjoyed half the poems and felt indifferent towards the rest. Don't miss "A Suite of Appearances", "Precious Little", "The Next Time", and "The View".
Mar 01, 2009 Jess rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Stand fans, someone looking for poetry with lots o images / stuff on loss / melancholy
Recommended to Jess by: browsing at CHN, his name sounding familiar
Shelves: poetry, melancholy

When it's good, it's very very good. The kind of poetry where you say "whoa" after reading it. The rest of the time it's OK.

love, love, love the title
Mark Strand quickly became one of my favorite poets. This work deals with temporality, impermanence, and life all with a light touch. It's similar to Zen koans.
Davina Busted
The first book of poetry that I could genuinely appreciate and take on its own terms without caviling about "meaning" or "subjectivity." Really, really beautiful.
Jan 22, 2008 Edward added it
I hadn't read Strand in years and then a friend, Steve Gibson, said I had to read this collection. He was right. "The Delirium Waltz," especially, is a favorite.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 39 40 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Repair
  • Black Zodiac
  • Moy Sand and Gravel
  • Practical Gods
  • Selected Poems
  • Different Hours
  • Versed
  • Failure
  • Alive Together
  • Late Wife
  • The Simple Truth
  • Walking to Martha's Vineyard
  • The World Doesn't End
  • Time and Materials
  • Native Guard
  • Thomas and Beulah
  • The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems, 1974-1994
  • The Shadow of Sirius
Mark Strand was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet, essayist, and translator. He was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1990. Since 2005, he has been a professor of English at Columbia University.

Strand also wrote children's books and art criticism, helped edit several poetry anthologies and translated Italian poet Rafael Alberti.

He is survived by a son
More about Mark Strand...
The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms Selected Poems Reasons for Moving / Darker / The Sargentville Notebook Almost Invisible: Poems New Selected Poems

Share This Book

“No voice comes from outer space, from the folds of dust and carpets of wind to tell us that this is the way it was meant to happen, that if only we knew how long the ruins would last we would never complain.” 16 likes
“From the shadow of domes in the city of domes,
A snowflake, a blizzard of one, weightless, entered your room
And 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.”
More quotes…