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Mark Doty Poems

A collection of select Mark Doty famous poems that were written by Mark Doty or written about the poet by other famous poets. PoetrySoup is a comprehensive educational resource of the greatest poems and poets on history.

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by Doty, Mark
 Today the Masons are auctioning 
their discarded pomp: a trunk of turbans, 
gemmed and ostrich-plumed, and operetta costumes 
labeled inside the collar "Potentate" 
and "Vizier." Here their chairs, blazoned...Read More



by Doty, Mark
 You weren't well or really ill yet either;
just a little tired, your handsomeness
tinged by grief or anticipation, which brought
to your face a thoughtful, deepening grace.

I didn't for a moment...Read More

by Doty, Mark
 Because the road to our house
is a back road, meadowlands punctuated
by gravel quarry and lumberyard,
there are unexpected travelers
some nights on our way home from work.
Once, on the lawn of...Read More

by Doty, Mark
 When I heard he had entered the harbor,
and circled the wharf for days,
I expected the worst: shallow water,

confusion, some accident to bring
the young humpback to grief. 
Don't they depend...Read More

by Doty, Mark
 They lie in parallel rows,
on ice, head to tail, 
each a foot of luminosity 
barred with black bands,
which divide the scales'
radiant sections 

like seams of lead
in a Tiffany window.
Iridescent,...Read More



by Doty, Mark
 Over the terminal,
 the arms and chest
 of the god

brightened by snow.
 Formerly mercury,
 formerly silver,

surface yellowed
 by atmospheric sulphurs
 acid exhalations,

and now the shining
 thing's descendant.
 Obscure passages,

dim...Read More

by Doty, Mark
 The intact facade's now almost black 
in the rain; all day they've torn at the back 
of the building, "the oldest concrete structure 
in New England," the newspaper said....Read More

by Doty, Mark
 Long Pont's apparitional
this warm spring morning,
the strand a blur of sandy light,


and the square white
of the lighthouse-separated from us
by the bay's ultramarine


as if it were nowhere
we could ever go-gleams
like...Read More

by Doty, Mark
 Under Grand Central's tattered vault
--maybe half a dozen electric stars still lit--
one saxophone blew, and a sheer black scrim

billowed over some minor constellation
under repair. Then, on Broadway, red wings
in...Read More

by Doty, Mark
 Glassmakers,
at century's end,
compounded metallic lusters

in reference
to natural sheens (dragonfly
and beetle wings,

marbled light on kerosene)
and invented names
as coolly lustrous

as their products'
scarab-gleam: Quetzal,
Aurene, Favrile.

Suggesting,
respectively, the glaze
of feathers,

that sun-shot fog
of which halos
are...Read More

by Doty, Mark
 Not, exactly, green:
closer to bronze
preserved in kind brine,

something retrieved
from a Greco-Roman wreck,
patinated and oddly

muscular. We cannot
know what his fantastic
legs were like--

though evidence
suggests eight
complexly folded

scuttling works
of armament, crowned
by the foreclaws'

gesture...Read More

by Doty, Mark
 Because she could find no one else to paint a picture of the old family place where she and her sisters lived. . .she attended an adult education class...Read More

by Doty, Mark
 This salt-stain spot
marks the place where men
lay down their heads,
back to the bench,

and hoist nothing
that need be lifted
but some burden they've chosen
this time: more reps,

more weight, the upward shove
of...Read More

by Doty, Mark
 "I've been having these
awful dreams, each a little different,
though the core's the same-

we're walking in a field,
Wally and Arden and I, a stretch of grass
with a highway running beside...Read More

by Doty, Mark
 The priest never used blueprints, but worked all
the many designs out of his head.


Father Wilerus,
transplanted Alsatian,
built around
this plain Wisconsin

redbrick church
a coral-reef en-
crustation--meant,
the brochure says,

to glorify America
and heaven simul-
taneously. Thus:
Mary...Read More