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Blizzard of One

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  886 Ratings  ·  50 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
Paperback, 72 pages
Published February 8th 2000 by Knopf (first published 1998)
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Douglas
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Philip
Apr 10, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, pulitzer
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
...more
Miriam
Nov 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
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
...more
Monte
Sep 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Some Last Words
1
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.
2
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.
3
"Negligence" is the perfume I love.
O Fedora. Fedora. If you want any,
Just go to the graveyard and ask around.
4
The bones of the buffalo, the rabbit at sunset,
The wind and its double, the tree, the town...
Just
...more
Billy O'Callaghan
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
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
s
Dec 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
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
...more
Ellice
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Corey
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
He was magnificent. I mourn the fact that there will be no more new Mark Strand books.
Zach
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This was my first interaction with Mark Strand, and it was full of memorable poems. I don't really know how to write about poetry yet — perhaps never will — so I'm content to just share some of the lines and poems that stood out.

My favorite was The Night, The Porch:

To stare at nothing is to learn by heart
What all of us will be swept into, and baring oneself
To the wind is feeling the ungraspable somewhere close by.
Trees can sway or be still. Day or night can be what they wish.
What we desire, more
...more
Daniel Benevides
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Real e surreal, sensual e existencial. Perfeito.
Avery Taylor
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Jsavett1
Oct 31, 2014 rated it liked it
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
...more
metaphor
Jun 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, mark-strand
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
Wes Hazard
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
Mia
Mar 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
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. He...re 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
...more
Michael
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Strand is an interesting case, insomuch as he's been around so long that his work tends to drift through different periods. Published some 30 years after his first collection, Blizzard is a much more personalized account than his prior work. You'll find almost each poem is dedicated to a person in Strand's life (this carries it's own significance, I think.) The themes are more sweeping and grand than in prior works, too, and they seem to reflect, often enough, on the end of Strand's life. Days a ...more
Jeremy Allan
Aug 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
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
...more
Justin
Jul 08, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Bonnie
Jul 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
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.
Jeffrey
Jun 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
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.
Mark Valentine
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
The amazing feature about Strand's poetry, I feel, is his ability to link the metaphysical and erudite with commonplace and the basic. Reading his lines is a heady walk throughh the garden of philosophy. My favorite was "What It Was." I will read more Strand.
Daniel
Jul 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: from-library
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.
Andrew
Feb 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
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., http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/...), but Blizzard of One never gave me anything on which to settle a hope that it would rise above banal.
Dan
Aug 06, 2011 rated it liked it
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".
Atlas Can
Mar 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
"
Katie
Sep 07, 2010 rated it liked it
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.
Edward
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.
Christopher
Jul 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Possibly my favorite little book of poetry ever.
Jas
Jun 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Some of it is very good. As with others blessed with fame, he is also obscure too often. I don't think I'm dense, but maybe so.
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  • Practical Gods
  • Black Zodiac
  • Repair
  • Moy Sand and Gravel
  • Different Hours
  • Selected Poems
  • Versed
  • Failure
  • Late Wife
  • Alive Together
  • The Simple Truth
  • Walking to Martha's Vineyard
  • The World Doesn't End
  • Time and Materials
  • The Shadow of Sirius
  • Thomas and Beulah
  • Native Guard
  • Heart's Needle
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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. He was a professor of English at Columbia University and also taught at numerous other colleges and universities.

Strand also wrote children's books and art criticism, helped edit several poetry anthologies and translated Italian p
...more
More about Mark Strand...
“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.” 15 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.”
11 likes
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