Mark Doty‘s latest, Deep Lane, is truly exceptional. Poetry can, of course, be any number of things but some of the stuff I enjoy teeters on the edge of the abyss and, somehow, the poet, the poem, is able to snatch the heat of hell, the salve of heaven from somewhere beyond our plane. Deep Lane is one such collection.
Doty’s walk down Deep Lane delivers the kind of psychodrama that makes us all feel less alone.
The Poetry Book Society has commissioned me to review each of the 10 collections short-listed for the 2015 T S Eliot Prize and my first piece, on Deep Lane, has been posted >>here>> today, on the Poetry Bookshop website.
- The Poetry Book Society
- Mark Doty’s blog
- Mark Doty at the Poetry Foundation
- Mark Doty’s Theories and Apparitions on Poor Rude Lines
PREVIOUS POOR RUDE LINES
Sue Priest said:
Glad to have read your review John; Deep Lane sounds like a collection to become thoroughly lost in during the winter gloom and there is something satisfying about wallowing in darkness when there is so much of it around. I may well buy the collection.
Looking forward to hearing more.
Morning, Sue. So glad that the review has piqued your interest and yes, it would make great winter reading. Let me know what you think of it.
Steve Wilson said:
I’ve followed the trail here from the Poetry Bookshop site. Of the poetry books that I’ve read this year, ‘Deep Lane’ has absorbed and held me the most. In particular, the ‘Deep Lane’ poems. Powerfully visual images struck me hard; one that I found particularly compelling was in Deep Lane (June 23rd)…his dog careering off with a grave-marker. ‘in his wild figure-eights’…..
And the ambivalence in the little poem ‘Apparition’ where he hears his dead father speak…
He did say my name so that I could hear him
and I think it was in gentleness, a compliment, and not in mockery.
I’m pleased that ‘Deep Lane’ resonated with you as well. (The ‘Apparition’ poem with the father was a highlight for me too and its ambivalence is loaded with tension.) I am sorry to say that I have only read one other collection by Doty – ‘Theories and Apparitions’ – but I felt that this was outstanding too. Doty read at the Poetry Trust’s Poetry Prom in late August. Keep an eye on their website (the Poetry Channel specifically) – here’s hoping that they post a reading.