I've really enjoyed having a poem emailed to me every day this month from Knopf. What incredible selections they're making, and all poetry I've not seen before so it's a great opportunity to expand my poetic horizons.
Yesterday they sent me this poem from Mark Strand, and I loved it at first read. Then I saw there was an audio recording we could listen to, and I just knew it had to be my Poetry Friday selection for this week.
Man and Camel
by Mark Strand
On the eve of my fortieth birthday
I sat on the porch having a smoke
when out of the blue a man and a camel
happened by. Neither uttered a sound
at first, but as they drifted up the street
and out of town the two of them began to sing.
Yet what they sang is still a mystery to me—
the words were indistinct and the tune
too ornamental to recall. Into the desert
they went and as they went their voices
rose as one above the sifting sound
of windblown sand. The wonder of their singing,
its elusive blend of man and camel, seemed
an ideal image for all uncommon couples.
Go here for the rest of the poem.
Go here for the audio recording of the poem, which I think adds just the right amount of texture to something already quite wonderful.