The Lucky Form of Truth
Mark Strand Reads Edward Hopper’s Paintings
Keywords:Mark Strand, Edward Hopper, self, matter, non-human world, nothingness
This article explores poet Mark Strand’s facet as an art critic and, more specifically, the way in which the pictorial universe of American painter Edward Hopper influenced his own poetry, both thematically and stylistically. Reading Hopper’s well-known oil on canvas House by the Railroad (1925) in a New York Times article entitled “Crossing the Tracks to Hopper’s World,” published on 17 October 1971, Strand dwells on “Hopper’s fascination with passage” (340). Years later, he would expand his critical exegesis of House by the Railroad and other canvasses by the American painter in a book-length essay titled Hopper (1994) in ways that are expressive of his own poetics. Both Strand and Hopper look at the world with an inquisitive gaze and capture moments in time with utter clarity to show that the self is a mystery and humans are transients yearning for a moment of revelation, a momentary stay against confusion.
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