“The End” by Mark Strand

“Not every man knows what he shall sing at the end,
Watching the pier as the ship sails away, or what it will seem like
When he’s held by the sea’s roar, motionless, there at the end,
Or what he shall hope for once it is clear that he’ll never go back.

When the time has passed to prune the rose or caress the cat,
When the sunset torching the lawn and the full moon icing it down
No longer appear, not every man knows what he’ll discover instead.
When the weight of the past leans against nothing, and the sky

Is no more than remembered light, and the stories of cirrus
And cumulus come to a close, and all the birds are suspended in flight,
Not every man knows what is waiting for him, or what he shall sing
When the ship he is on slips into darkness, there at the end.”

Arnold Böcklin, "Isle of the Dead"

Arnold Böcklin, “Isle of the Dead”

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10 Responses to “The End” by Mark Strand

  1. lampmagician says:

    Reblogged this on lampmagician and commented:
    Nobody knows what to sing at the end! ❤


  2. Pingback: “The End” by Mark Strand | lampmagician

  3. Monika – what a wonderfully poignant poem – i have copied it into my anthology of best poems – heart wrenching depiction of our journey past the here and before we reach the hereafter, whatever that may be. – thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  4. And nobody knows how close they are to that moment. Interesting that it seems to contain a ‘future.’ Nothing I want to trade for right now mind you. Beautiful poem. I’ve been catching up on your posts this morning and feel quite enriched.


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