Atlantis : Poems
The poignant, accomplished new collection of poetry from the author of "My Alexandria" -- 1993 winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, Los Angeles Times Book Award, 1993 National Book Award Finalist.
- Paperback | 103 pages
- 152.4 x 228.6 x 10.16mm | 68.04g
- 01 Oct 1995
- HARPER PERENNIAL
- New York, NY, United States
Back cover copy
In his latest collection, Atlantis, Doty claims the mythical lost island as his own: a fading paradise whose memory he must keep alive at the same time that he is forced to renounce its hold on him. Atlantis recedes, just as the lives of those Doty loves continue to be extinguished by the devastation of AIDS. Set in the harbor village of Provincetown, whose charming, cluttered landscape Doty brings to life, the collection chronicles the illness and death of Doty's beloved partner, as well as many others whose worlds have been both ravaged and broadened by this disease. Doty's struggle is to reconcile with, and even to celebrate, the evanescence of our earthly connections - to those we love, to the shifting physical landscape, even to our strongest feelings - and to understand how we can love more at the very moment that we must consent to let go.
"Having by his third book raised the roof of the America Sublime, Doty is now concerned, like Clampitt before him, to frame doors and windows, to "detail" landscapes and outbuildings of loss which, in the ways of the Sublime, properly circumstantiated, are transformed, transcended, redeemed. A lost continent breaks through the surface, glistening still with tears, but exact, vivid, "there.""-- Richard Howard"We have already come to known Mark Doty's books as texts of passion and exactitude. "Atlantis" is this, and more. Tragedy is at its center--the death of Wally Roberts from AIDS, an event that takes place within the mindless continuum of more death--even within this book--from the ongoing AIDS plague. There is a mighty lesson in "Atlantis" and it is this--that we are helpless before fate, except in our demeanor. "Atlantis" is a book filled with the striking and graceful forms of the physical world--for beauty is the school to which Doty goes, with great courage, and certainly without irony, for comfort, sanity, and an understanding of such dark and bright things. Of course he finds no more than Keats found: a riddle. It is enough. Mark Doty has written a book that is ferocious, luminous, and important."-- Mary Oliver