Guest poem submitted by Masha Saakova:
(Poem #1831) My Name
One night 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.
You already have three Mark Strand poems up, but this one is, by far, my favorite. I saw it last year in The New Yorker. I don't want to dissect this poem too much because I have read it over and over again simply for the experience. It also seems that Strand poems do not necessarily have a singular or definite meaning, and that's really part of their beauty. "My Name" needs to be read aloud -- the sounds are musical (he does a lot of near-rhymes, consonsance, assonance, alliteration.) I love the stillness and, yet, the suspense and darkness of the night. The numerous details convey his awareness of self and of the nature, the surroundings, the world of which he is a part and still separated from. To me (emphasis on me,) this poem is about enjoying a moment and the world that is all ours to take in, but it is also about realizing our insignificant role in it. I've read this poem at least a dozen times, and each time I make a discovery -- I think that's what Strand intended. Hope you like it. Thanks for your time, Masha