Winter 2012 • Vol. XXXIV No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 2012 |

Nobody Knows What Is Known

A man and a woman were on a train. The man said, "Are we going someplace? I don't think so, not this time. This is already the next century, and look where we are. Nowhere. Tell me, Gwendolyn, when we boarded the train, why hadn't we known this day would come." "Snap out of it," Gwendolyn said. The train was crossing an endless snow-covered plain; no town awaited its arrival, no town lamented its departure. It simply kept going, and that was its purpose—to slither dreamlike over blank stretches of country, issuing sorrowful wails that would slowly fade in the cold.

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Mark Strand lives in New York City and teaches at Columbia. In 2009 he received the Gold Medal for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Knopf published his collection of prose pieces Almost Invisible in 2012.

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