The Night, the Porch

A weekly poem, read by the author.
Jan. 22 1998 3:30 AM

The Night, the Porch

The Night, the Porch


By Mark Strand

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(posted Wednesday, Jan. 21)

To hear the poet read "The Night, the Porch," click here.

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 than a season or weather, is the comfort
Of being strangers, at least to ourselves. This is the crux
Of the matter. Even now we seem to be waiting for something
Whose appearance would be its vanishing--the sound, say,
Of a few leaves falling, or just one leaf, or less.
There is no end to what we can learn. The book out there
Tells as much, and was never written with us in mind.

Mark Strand lives in Baltimore and teaches at Johns Hopkins University.