Last night I went to a poetry reading by Mark Strand, one of America's great living poets. Full disclosure: I'm a friend of a close relative of his, so while it is unusual for me to attend a poetry reading, it is not unusual for me to attend one of his.
The reading was held at the UCLA Hammer Museum, where the house was packed, and the poet remarked to me that he had read at UCLA, for this same reading series, as a young poet some forty years ago. Now that's a reading series!
I was a little bit of a poetry-phobe before attending one of Strand's readings many years ago. But his readings--funny, moving, intelligent, always entertaining--made me eager to listen to poetry read aloud, which is the best way to experience it, if you you ask me.
Last night he read "Shooting Whales", a poem I hadn't heard him read before, and which he said was based on a true story. It can be found on this site. He also read My Mother On An Evening in Late Summer, and one of my favorites, The Continuous Life. Enjoy!