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Eating Poetry Summary & Analysis
by Mark Strand

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"Eating Poetry" is the opening poem in Mark Strand's 1968 collection Reasons for Moving. Using Strand's characteristically dark humor, the poem finds its speaker in the act of "eating" poetry in a library, devouring poems like a ravenous, wild animal. The librarian, for her part, can't believe what she's seeing and becomes increasingly terrified—especially as the speaker's passionate consumption seems to summon dogs from the basement! Surreal and strange, the poem testifies to the wonders of poetry itself—and perhaps suggests that it's not necessary to explain, categorize, or even fully understand poems in order to enjoy them.

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