Knopf, US$30 hb, 538 pp, 9780385352512
It is tempting to say that when Mark Strand died last November American poetry lost one of its most distinctive voices. But it isn’t quite true. First, Strand had already retired from poetry several years earlier (before Philip Roth and Alice Munro caused a stir by doing so from fiction). Strand returned to his first career as an artist (a very talented one, according to his teachers at Yale’s Art and Architecture School), constructing a series of collages that were shown in galleries in New York. Second, Strand’s voice is of course very much present in the poems he leaves behind, collected in this handsome edition, which came out a month before he died. Though it is a voice of loss, it is not lost to us.