My Alexandria (2020)

My Alexandria A versatile technically astute poet Doty masterfully tackles themes of death beauty and discovery in this collection Particularly moving is Days of in which he recalls the memory of his first
  • Title: My Alexandria
  • Author: Mark Doty
  • ISBN: 9780252022104
  • Page: 284
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A versatile, technically astute poet, Doty masterfully tackles themes of death, beauty and discovery in this collection Particularly moving is Days of 1981, in which he recalls the memory of his first gay lover a sculptor he met in a bar Nothing was promised, nothing sustained or lethal offered I wish I d kept the heart Even the emblems of our own embarrassment becA versatile, technically astute poet, Doty masterfully tackles themes of death, beauty and discovery in this collection Particularly moving is Days of 1981, in which he recalls the memory of his first gay lover a sculptor he met in a bar Nothing was promised, nothing sustained or lethal offered I wish I d kept the heart Even the emblems of our own embarrassment become acceptable to us, after a while Doty derives much of his success by offering readers a full gulp of his longish verse, rather than teasing, incomplete sips My Alexandria won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry for 1993.
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      Mark Doty

    One Reply to “My Alexandria”

    1. This book of poems had sat on my shelf for years waiting to be read I d heard that it referred to the AIDS crisis of the 1980s I thought I knew what it was about on the cover of the book, the ruins, men sitting on great toppled stones, half broken walls rising above and pierced with holes for windows that looked on nothing I was prepared for something painfully lovely, for words that enfolded and crushed until the chest ached What I wasn t prepated for snow.white cargo siftingequally all night o [...]

    2. On my wedding morning, my dog killed a small mammal I was hiking with family, and I ll never forget the sight of the poor thing, bleeding on its back, struggling with what little life he had left When I read Mark Doty s poem With Animals, the moment of that morning came crashing down on me The narrator had come upon a dog in the snow it had been shot in the head and had thrashed on its back all night Something cleaves to form until the last minute, past it and though the vet s needle was an act [...]

    3. My Alexandria is an analysis of mortality as interpreted by a gay man living in the time of HIV AIDS Doty uses the physical world of objects and fabrics, music and art, architecture and antiques to explore what is permanent and what is temporary in life As evidenced by the awards it received, this was a breakthrough collection for one of today s most important poets.

    4. After reading Doty s memoir Heaven s Coast, I was ready for his poetry, and I was prepared for them to be different, and they are, vastly different The memoir showed me the thinking and feeling man the poetry shows me the incredibly talented and intelligent poet His poems capture what it means to be American, gay, mindful, and aware of social justice They are beautifully American and capture the times without blame, bitterness, anger, hate It reminds me of a poem of Adrienne Rich s that made me [...]

    5. Mark Doty is the kind of poet I wanted to be, then abandoned, simply because I couldn t Whereas Gl ck avoids the melodramatic, and attacks everything with stoic precision and irony, Doty heads towards the sentimental, the extravagant, and gets away with it, out of love I adore his uncanny way of collecting a garage sale of objects those random, worn out things that have had their own promise of beauty and elevate them into metaphors, make them sparkle again.Favorite poem Human Figures

    6. Re reading My Alexandria for the first time in over twenty years, I m still amazed by the beauty, insightfulness, and music of these meditative lyrics Doty is a beautiful poet, and this book dazzles.

    7. While this was not as good as Atlantis, this was a phenomenal book of poetry The poems of My Alexandria were written immediately after and around the diagnosis of Wally Roberts with AIDS As such, My Alexandria like Atlantis, really focuses on loss and pain and decay, but as it approaches rather than in the aftermath This makes these poems, at times, even bleaker than those in his later book The collection has some unity, but there is no strong connecting imagery, although the natural world and d [...]

    8. I don t know why I ve never read any of Mark Doty s poetry collections before now I d heard of him and enjoyed individual poems and yet had never picked up a book by him until now.My Alexandria is beautifully written and powerful, moving and full of intensely observed detail A lot of the poems are long, especially The Wings which is 13 pages long that s very long to a haiku writer such as I am The Wings starts with The bored child at the auction who is reading while his parents wander around and [...]

    9. The poems in this collection were not particularly dense, with a couple of passes through each one I felt like I grasped the key metaphors and messages Doty teases out the metaphors from his experiences and tries to write them directly into his poems I think his poetry succeeds because of these keen observations and beautiful writing, not due to some ability to pack haystacks of meaning into a mere needle s worth of words.I really enjoyed this collection, there is an underlying feeling of doom i [...]

    10. Many of the cities about which Doty waxes lyrical in My Alexandria New York, Boston, San Francisco, etc have already been eulogized to death a devil s advocate might even argue that you have to squint to see the resemblance between life in such sophisticated cities and life in, say, Middle America much as I hate that Palin popularized phrase Still, this is an admirably ambitious, and sometimes truly lovely, book Doty likes to juxtapose two or seemingly unrelated anecdotes within a single poem, [...]

    11. Such a lovely book Clear lines working into some of the most complex elements of elemental life An interest in language that is abiding but not overwhelming a sense of narrative as quiet scaffolding Some amazing, daring turns Overtones of Frost Nods to Rilke, especially in Lament Heaven which as Doty notes at the end has a title taken from a line of Stephen Mitchell s translation of Rilke s Orpheus Euridyce Hermes and perhaps it s just a coincidence, but I also liked that Lament Heaven is one of [...]

    12. The book was about hyper reality nuance to deal with the ephemeral nature of life So Phillip Levine style and indeed he did pick it for a National Poetry Award My favorite line in the book, Anything lived into long enough becomes and orchard sums up the narrative poems They were tight in stanzas of the same measure in each poem For example, couplets or quatrains Every word is calculated and yet the casual conversational aspect of the poems is as if one were in a museum observing all the horrors [...]

    13. I taught another of Doty s books to middle school students, and they claimed it made them see that literature can penetrate into the deeper parts of human thought This book is an easy illustration of that With just the right revelation, and experience, joined together by easy pivot points using anecdote or allusion, Doty manages to touch on the real tragedy of losing someone dear The poem Fog is immortal.

    14. At first read the poems were somewhat casual, but as I went back over them, got a sense of the general intensity of the unmentionables in the room and tried to follow closely the movement of his attention, the poems began to feel incredibly clear, honest, and true to the function of mind which alights on the lightest moment of an intense event, then moves on to the next.

    15. I got this at a reading with Mark Doty I distinctly remember him treating me like a retard, which may have been on account of the pink unicorn I had with me.Mark Doty So, he said in that voice you use to speak to children, Do you carry that with you everywhere Me Totes mcgoates dude Can you sign this

    16. I originally bought this for one for a uni writing course on poetry about the Sublime This book is the only thing of value I gained from that course Lyrical and beautiful, easily one of the best contemporary poets Mark Doty is a treasure and also really nice in person This book always makes me cry.

    17. Almost Blue is about Chet Baker I love how Doty equates a poet with Baker, a trumpet poet.If Hart Crane played trumpethe d sound like you, your horn s dark city Difference is anthologized in 1994 Best American Poetry.

    18. Masterful, and almost unbearably beautiful If I could take only two books to a desert island they would be The Collected Shorter Poems of Kenneth Rexroth, and this A must for every lover of contemporary poetry at its very finest.

    19. Incredible I m not even sure how to put into words my feelings about this book Please read it, you will not regret it

    20. Lovely, straightforward writing Poems of substance and style Doty takes the mundane into sublimity, deals with mortality without sentimentality, and grapples huge concepts without preachiness.

    21. AIDS and death are looming, but not overt presences, which I think is really interesting A very subtly written collection of lovely poems.

    22. Beautiful poems They flow so effortlessly that it s easy to forget how much skill went into their creation.

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