Mark Doty Essay

Mark Doty Essay-15
Reginald Shepherd, in a review for noted that “unlike his contemporaries, Doty has never eschewed beauty.

Reginald Shepherd, in a review for noted that “unlike his contemporaries, Doty has never eschewed beauty.

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Reviewing the book in the Decca Aitkenhead claimed that the book transcends its ostensible subject matter: “Bereavement, ultimately, is Doty’s subject.

Through the narrative of his ailing dogs’ last days, Doty explores the different textures of hope and denial, despair and depression.” Danielle Chapman, in the however, found that book “with its breathless aestheticizing of dog life, its melodrama and its rehashing of old material…often comes dangerously close to parodying Doty’s best work.” Though increasingly successful as a memoirist, Doty has continued to publish award-winning collections of poetry.

(His poems) are graceful, full of humility and hard fact, and they aren’t afraid...

Tracy actually went on to write that his poems weren't afraid to laugh, but I've ended her quote there because the poem I'm publishing here (its first appearance, I'm proud to say) is a fearless one indeed, charged by a dark and wounded beauty.

Shepherd concluded: “The poems combine close attention to the fragile, contingent things of the world with the constant, almost unavoidable chance of transcendence, since ‘desire can make anything into a god.’” Or, as Elizabeth Lund put it in the Doty was asked why he thought poetry endured as an art form.

He answered: “My guess is that somehow poetry is a vessel for the expression of subjectivity unlike any other; a good poem bears the stamp of individual character in a way that seems to usher us into the unmistakably idiosyncratic perceptual style of the writer.

She compared Doty to Keats in being “poised on exact perception.

When he sees the ocean—the salt spray hits you.” The critic Willard Spiegelman applauded both the work’s visual quality and its “smooth, graceful” music.

He earned a master’s degree in creative writing from Goddard College during part-time semesters; during the same period, he met his first great love, Wally Roberts.

The couple lived together for twelve years in Manhattan and Provincetown.


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