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Book Title: Atlantis|
The author of the book: Mark Doty
Date of issue: September 1st 1995
ISBN 13: 9780060951061
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 925 KB
Edition: Harper Perennial
Read full description of the books Atlantis:This book is pretty amazing. With the exception of Keats, I don’t usually read books of poetry these days. I’m a prose/novel person, because I like getting invested in characters, and in general I just love a good story. That said, I plan to read more of Doty’s work. And I will probably end up re-reading Atlantis, because there is clearly A LOT there.
Okay, to start with the title, I’m assuming it is no coincidence that the title of this collection is the same as one of Hart Crane’s poems. (After all, there are no “coincidences” when it comes to literary analysis, right? ;) ) That could work, as Doty touches on some similar concepts such as the connections between the human experience and the universal, and the significance of place (the urban city, water). If no allusion to Crane is intended and Doty is connecting only to the myth of the lost city that also rings true, as Atlantis seems to include the theme of searching for a (possibly only mythic) place of acceptance and identity, as well as function as an elegy for a world devastated by AIDs.
I love how many of Doty’s poems center around finding beauty in aspects of life and the natural world that many would see as only ugly or at best unremarkable, like decrepit old boats along the shore. On a deeper level, Doty seems to find beauty intertwined even in death and darkness, just as Whitman does in poems like “Scented Herbage of my Breast.” In fact, reading Whitman’s poems about death alongside Doty’s creates a powerful and poignant comparison. While a similarity can certainly be seen between the touching ending of the poem “Atlantis” ( listing the different victims and those who still “hold” them) and Whitman’s battlefield vigils beside young, dead and dying men, overall I see more difference than similarity. Bobby’s story in “Grosse Fuge” captures that contrast perfectly. While untimely death is beautiful and romanticized as well as tragic in Whitman’s poems, the casualties of the AIDs epidemic are still often ostracized and demonized rather than mourned as fallen heroes, like those who fall in battle are by the general public. While Whitman writes of an intimacy between the dead/dying and those who care for them, Doty writes of a cold, lonely death. A man no one wants to actually touch (even the medical professional who wore gloves when they were not needed) or comfort. Really powerful stuff.
Read information about the authorMark Doty is the author of six books of poems and two memoirs, Heaven's Coast and Firebird. A Guggenheim, Ingram-Merrill, and Whiting Fellow, he has also received the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN/Martha Albrand Prize for Nonfiction. He teaches at the University of Houston, and divides his time between Houston and Provincetown, Massachusetts.
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