Friday, April 6, 2012

Review: The Art of Description by Mark Doty

This small book has been on my bedside stack for a very short while –what a wonderful surprise, a book about writing poetry that I looked forward to reading. Often such books linger on the stack until I just have to have a sort out and end up returning those half read or just dipped into books to a bookshelf somewhere.

But not this one. Doty has written a small gem as I’ve said before … and such a variety of poems to illustrate his points. For me this  has been a good way to find new poets and poems to read, to read poetry with fresh eyes and of course, to try to take his teaching on board in my own work.

Doty’s divides the book into sections of just the right size and into two halves, giving the whole piece variety & breadth. Its all about the importance of every word, the difference using one word instead of another can make to meaning and the need to stretch the imagination as far as possible to convey what something means to you, the poet, to bring it alive for others.

I’ve just put some of the other books in this series on my wish list and ordered one of Doty’s collections –and The Art of Description is destined to be my companion for a while, no dusty bookshelf for this little book.

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