To hear this poem read by the poet, click here.
A blindness unknown to itself might as well be vision,
So I opened the door that had been my shield and walked out
Into the coils of wind and blurred tattoos of light
That marred the ground. The day lay cold upon my skin.
"Out of my way," I said to whatever was waiting, "Out of my way."
In a trice the purple thunder drew back, the tulip dropped
Its petals, the path was clear. I headed west, over the Great
Divide, and down through canyons into an endless valley.
Oh my, I had stepped into a mode I wasn't prepared for.
I was happy. The air was pure, the houses were vacant,
And none of the fields was ploughed. That's what I loved.
Mark Strand lives in New York City. He teaches at Columbia University.