As a child I watched my father, in particular, in his relationships with clever, brilliant people, who were for a short time learners from him, and then moved on. Both intact--but both enriched from the time they shared.
Mark Strand was not quite one of these people--he was my father's contemporary, not his student, but he came and went through my life with some feeling of this curious, transient intimacy that I got to witness before I was able to understand.
He leans back in his chair, rubs his hands, strokes
his beard, and says, “I’m thinking of Strand, I’m thinking
that one of these days I’ll be out back, swinging my scythe
or holding my hourglass up to the moon, and Strand will appear
in a jacket and tie, and together under the boulevards’
leafless trees we’ll stroll into the city of souls."
A personal loss, but OUR loss too.