Mark Doty - Theories and Apparitions (4 stars)

comments
Mark Doty - Theories and Apparitions

(Jonathan Cape)

POETRY COLLECTION

Mark Doty’s talent has always been in bringing elegance to simple, normally very recognisable, snapshots from everyday life. The American poet starts out with a plain observation – some rude truck driver tearing up the NYC streets; his dog, Beau, wagging its tail; a bat leaving an ‘inky signature’ in the night sky – before using it as a springboard for exploring tender and profound truths, but in a very laidback way.

Doty’s eighth book is succinct and moving, mood-swinging gracefully through a 55-year-old’s frustrations, fears, grateful snatches of surprise or ‘unbridled joy’. Less grandiose or raw than previous books, where he dealt with the death of his partner or the aftermath of 9/11, the intensity of his grief and despair has been replaced by equally deeply-felt, only less tortured emotions, plus the occasional shoulder-shrug or eye-roll at the dilemmas life throws at him. Effortlessly done, condensing his soul-searching into neat and beautiful soundbites.

Comments

Post a comment