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Man and Camel: Poems
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Man and Camel: Poems

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  197 ratings  ·  22 reviews
This eleventh collection by Mark Strand is a toast to life’s transience and abiding beauty. He begins with a group of light but haunting fables, populated by figures like the King, a tiny creature in ermine who has lost his desire to rule, and by the poet’s own alter ego, who recounts the fetching mystery of the title poem: “I sat on the porch having a smoke / when out of ...more
Paperback, 72 pages
Published March 25th 2008 by Knopf (first published September 5th 2006)
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Philip
this one's ok... would i give it the pulitzer? no. did it get the pulitzer? yes.* does his representation of "the sea" seem to differ with every poem? yes. does that make it more intellectual? possibly. more annoying? yes. i give it a five for cover art. and i'll say there are specific poems that are clear and enchanting. ("2002," "the rose," "2032," "mother and son") but i can't give the book overall more than a three. of course, i don't even have a clue how they choose who gets the pulitzer.


*
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Robert Beveridge
Mark Strand, Man and Camel (Knopf, 2006)

I let my review of this go too long, and it ended up going back to the library without my pulling quotes to illustrate my points, so this is going to be a very short review.

I've read a few of Strand's books before, and never really quite figured out what it is about his work that everyone goes on about. I once submitted some stuff to a magazine, and when I got a reply, they'd taken everything except one poem which they labeled as being “too personal” for t
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Fernando
It is easy to speak well of Mark Strand ( Summerside , 1934 ) . This is an author -backed international critics and audiences , with a space reserved in all prestigious library , and has received major literary prizes , including the Pulitzer . Crowning these summits highlighting in poetry ( and visiting , successful, other genres ) is a letter of unquestionable quality .
However, it is not easy to admit that an author so deep heating will transform even the internal perspective and that, based o
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Jenna
In 2008, I was in a semester-long workshop taught by Mark Strand, and it was delightful. For years, I've loved Strand's poem "The Tunnel," a bleak absurdist allegory that warns us of the consequences of our unthinking fear of the Other---or, what amounts to the same thing, our woeful inability to recognize that the Self and the Other are the same (the most fundamental of Dharmic truths, and the root of all compassion).

Still, it took me over two years to muster the resolve to read one of Strand's
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Allison DeLauer
collection in 3 parts, 1st part soberly whimsical - surreal - spare fairytailish, 2nd part focus on dark and longing, 3rd part a commission to accompany music - reflection on what happened after the last seven words of Christ having used the gnostic gospel of Thomas as a source

I love this - poetry just the way I like it! elegant lines with re-curring motifs and a (forgive me) maxfield parish-ish color scheme throughout the collection. Images ( ice, green gold, marlble, moon, sea, stars) - look a
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Kristy
I think I'll agree with the other reviewers here and say that this was not good enough to win the Pulitzer. First of all, this is definitely Old White Man Poetry - morose and indulgent, no risky language or images. They generally won't appeal to people under 40. The poems are the perfect length (can't stand poetry that's too long), but some of the ideas here are only half-formed and often cryptic. Lots of imagery of the sea, but nothing new about it.

The Good
"Conversation"
I also said
that there i
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Brian
Overall, not my cup of tea. I did like this one, though:
My Name
Once when the lawn was a golden green/ and the marbled moonlit trees rose like fresh memorials/
in the scented air, and the whole countryside pulsed/ with the chirr and murmur of insects, I lay in the grass,/ feeling the great distances open above me, and wondered/ what I would become and where I would find myself,/ and though I barely existed, I felt for an instant/ that the vast star-clustered sky was mine, and I heard/ my name as i
...more
Craig
Still not a huge Strand fan, I guess.

I did really like Black Sea, Mother and Son, and the first section of Poem After the Last Seven Words. Otherwise, I felt that all of the poems were "o.k."

I felt that the surrealism of the first section borrowed from or else was a paler version of "lesser" writers such as Jonathan Carroll or Neil Gaiman. Here, Mark seems to always have the same flavor of writing -- the fairy tale twists and dark turns -- but without the depth of feeling.

I enjoyed the second a
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Heather Mize
Decent writing but rather unfocused and not that memorable. I liked the Black Sea most and a few others. Overall I didn't find anything unique here.
Paul
Aug 28, 2014 Paul rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
Clever never ever parable-poems. Dreams evaporate into ether and evanescence. Faint echoes of Eliot's Four Quartets. The ghost of Wallace Stevens haunts the halls of ruined mansions and "the malodorous sea" (17) of Mark Strand's Man and Camel--another animal altogether--and "that sudden paradise of sound" (30). Searching for "the silence" (39) via negativa. There's really "nothing" to it. These words work to resist well-meaning readers. They are vanishings.
Rob
I listened to an interview of Mark Strand on a CBC podcast the last time I drove to Kamloops. He seemed like a fascinating man, and the poems they read of his were terrific. They were surreal and hilarious. I ordered this book as soon as I got home, and I’m fairly happy with it. It was way too expensive for its size, and I found many of the poems to be forgettable, but there are a few gems hidden in there.
Ash
Very modern, creative, contemplative; I enjoyed this. I thought it worthy of a good rating. If you come across it, give it a go, you'll have it finished in less than an hour.
Corin
Sorry not sorry. Never thought i'd say this about one of my favorite poets but it's the worst Strand collection ever. He shouldn't have published this.
Alicia
I love Strand. I don't know how he manages to remain so important and profound while also being so funny and playful.
Julie
Not a waste of time, but also not a book I would return to. Strand is capable of much much better.
Becky
Wonderful. I read it on a beautiful day with the blue sky and a soft breeze.
Jonathan
Some very nicely crafted poems but they didn't do much for me!
Denise
Found some really bizarre, smart poems in here.
Sunny
One of the best poems of Good Friday/Easter
Emma the Dork
also good....very good
marilyn
my favorite poet these days.
Nina
can't stop reading it on repeat.
Patricia
Patricia marked it as to-read
Dec 07, 2014
Vikki Marshall
Vikki Marshall is currently reading it
Dec 01, 2014
Sigil
Sigil marked it as to-read
Nov 30, 2014
Alex Andrasik
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Nov 29, 2014
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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
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More about Mark Strand...
The Making of a Poem Selected Poems Blizzard of One Reasons for Moving / Darker / The Sargentville Notebook Almost Invisible: Poems

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My Name

Once when the lawn was a golden green
and the marbled moonlit trees rose like fresh memorials
in the scented air, and the whole countryside pulsed
with the chirr and murmur of insects, I lay in the grass,
feeling the great distances open above me, and wondered
what I would become and where I would find myself,
and though I barely existed, I felt for an instant
that the vast star-clustered sky was mine, and I heard
my name as if for the first time, heard it the way
one hears the wind or the rain, but faint and far off
as though it belonged not to me but to the silence
from which it had come and to which it would go.”
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