Poetry Month: Make Believe Ballroom Time (Strand)

Make Believe Ballroom Time

Judging from his suit which was excessively drab, but expensive, and his speech which was uninflected and precise, I guessed he was a banker, perhaps a lawyer, even a professor in one of the larger, better universities. It never occurred to me that he might be something else until, during a lull in our conversation, he suddenly got up and began dancing. The others at the party, plainly disturbed by this, affected a more intense involvement in their conversations than was necessary. They spoke loudly, rapidly. But the man continued dancing. And because I recognized what calling, distant music he obeyed, I envied him.
– Mark Strand, from Sleeping with One Eye Open

You can listen to Mary Louise Parker read Strand’s “Lines for Winter.” More Strand poetry is at Famous Poets and Poems.


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