"Winter in North Liberty" by Mark Strand

TIR staff

Mark Strand (1934–2014), acclaimed poet, essayist, editor, and translator, taught at the University of Iowa from 1962 to 1965. We offer his poem "Winter in North Liberty"—a town just north of Iowa City—in memoriam. The poem is from his recent book, Collected Poems by Mark Strand (Knopf, 2014)

Winter in North Liberty

Snow falls, filling
The moonlit fields.
All night we hear
The wind on the drifts
And think of escaping
This room, this house
The reaches of ourselves
That winter dulls.

Pale ferns and flowers
Form on the windows
Like grave reminders
Of a summer spent.
The walls close in.
We lie apart all night,
Thinking of where we are.
We have no place to go.


“Winter in North Liberty” from COLLECTED POEMS by Mark Strand, copyright © 2014 by Mark Strand. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this poem may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

For more on Mark Strand, please visit the Poetry Foundation