When I came to the end of the dream, there was Mark Strand.
We were in a vast hall, where the ceiling was too high to see,
And the light slanted down from above, and a cold wind blew.
We sat on a bench in the back. A little ways off,
A teacher was teaching a class, and she asked him to speak,
But he shook his head: he was too tired. Then he turned
To me, and he said, “I don’t write anymore. I don’t
Even look at the moon. But I read.” Then he smiled. “When you read
The books you most love for the last time, you see
The great works of imagination get better and better.
When you come to that passage where, arrayed in battalions,
With all their flashing armor and flapping banners
And bright wings fanning the starlight, the heavenly host
Throws down its spears, you wonder, although you’ve read it
A hundred times, ‘Will it really happen again?,’
And when it does, you are surprised.” There were tears
In his eyes as he said this. But were they tears of sadness,
Or tears of joy, or were they just caused by the wind,
That cold wind blowing and blowing? Then he was gone,
And the teacher was gone, with her class, and the students’ voices,
And all I could hear in the hall was the sound of the wind.