The Lucky Form of Truth

Mark Strand Reads Edward Hopper’s Paintings


  • Leonor María Martínez Serrano University of Córdoba



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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Author Biography

Leonor María Martínez Serrano, University of Córdoba

Leonor María Martínez Serrano is a Lecturer at the University of Córdoba. Her research interests include American and Canadian Literature, Ecocriticism, and High Modernism. She has co-edited Modern Ecopoetry: Reading the Palimpsest of the More-Than-Human World (Brill, 2021) and authored Breathing Earth: The Polyphonic Lyric of Robert Bringhurst (Peter Lang, 2021).


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How to Cite

Martínez Serrano, L. M. (2022). The Lucky Form of Truth: Mark Strand Reads Edward Hopper’s Paintings. The Grove - Working Papers on English Studies, 29, 81–100.