A Suite of Appearances
In another time, we will want to know how the earth looked
Then, and were people the way we are now. In another time,
The records they left will convince us that we are unchanged
And could be at ease in the past, and not alone in the present.
And we shall be pleased. But beyond all that, what cannot
Be seen or explained will always be elsewhere, always supposed,
Invisible even beneath the signs – the beautiful surface,
The uncommon knowledge – that point its way. In another time,
What cannot be seen will define us, and we shall be prompted
To say that language is error, and all things are wronged
By representation. The self, we shall say, can never be
Seen with a disguise, and never be seen without one.
In addition to being awarded a MacArthur genius grant and winning a Pulitzer Prize for poetry, Mark Strand studied painting with Josef Albers at Yale in the 50’s.