Fire to Fire
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Fire to Fire

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  444 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Mark Doty's Fire to Fire collects the best of his seven books of poetry, along with a generous selection of new work. His signature style encompasses both the plainspoken and the artfully wrought, as one of contemporary American poetry's most lauded, recognizable voices speaks to the crises and possibilities of our time.
ebook, 336 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published March 1st 2008)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 897)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Peycho Kanev
Doty’s status as detached observer to his own work was significantly complicated by this volume, Fire to Fire, his most successful yet. Mark Doty is one of the finest poets in America today and knows his way with words, with phrases that illuminate his stances, with defining emotions inaudible to most of us. He led me gently somewhere I can make meaning in a much more personal context. One way he does this, I believe, is by giving the reader emotional distance by using metaphors so deftly and so...more
Stephanie Edwards
I have a love hate relationship with this book. As for the new poems, some of them are really beautiful. My favorites were "Pipistrelle," "The Word," "In the Airport Marshes," "Apparition (favorite poem)," "Citizens" and "And Angel of Prague." However, I was not in love with the 11 poems whose titles began with the word "Theory." As to the selected poems from old books-I liked the poems from Atlantis (1995) the best. I also enjoyed many from My Alexandria (1993) and from Sweet Machine (1998). So...more
Joseph
I hadn't read the last three Doty books before checking this out (Source, School of the Arts, and new poems). A lot of his poems have similar occasions and moves, but reading his more recent work alongside the very few poems reprinted from his books before My Alexandria, you can see what a sensitive instrument he's made of his syntax and stanza over the years. Treating the same subjects many times has spurred as much depth and invention as repetition. There's also more straying from radiance in...more
Matt
This was my first experience with Mark Doty's poetry, and he's already become one of my absolute favorite contemporary poets. Something heartbreakingly poignant at the heart of his poems, which are simple, often lyric, but with a magic that can only be called poetry. Just fabulous. Pick up his book, read it. Revel in the images. Revel in the words.
Heather
I saw Mark Doty read at The Center last month and was reminded how much I like him, and why—his work is so full of observation and exquisite description and shining moments and everyday wonders. This collection of poems, which includes new work and selections from previous books, is just what I want to be reading right now, deeply satisfying from the very beginning, which is a poem about writing a poem and Doty's sensibility of detailed observation, of "filling in the tale" (3). I love that so m...more
Richard
Doty has an impressive mastery of a wide range of material: animal poems (MOST DEFINITELY the dog poem), nature poems, nature poems of the city setting, death. Take Emily Dickinson and Mary Oliver with Miles Davis as a donor father, and you now have their bastard child, for while Doty's handling is of the utmost seriousness, there is a love and play of language and rhythm and sound that infuses through it all. I must admit that reading a bunch at a stretch, as I am a Sandy refugee hiding away in...more
Sue
This is a gorgeous collection & ceertainly deserves the National Book Award prize! I've spent about 4 months slowly savoring the book. It's like reading Doty's biography as he presents poetry about being gay, having a lover, watching his lover & many, many friends die. He also shares his love for all his dogs and the sadness of their old age & eventual deaths(which he wrote beautifully about in his recent biographical book, Dog Years. Toward the end of the collection poems appear abo...more
Brad Byers
Fire to Fire is a collection of both new poems by Doty and select favorites from his previous works spanning from his early work to his present.

Mark Doty fans will not be disappointed with this volume. Seeing the comparison of themes and content of his various work is a joy.

With his poignant, beautiful and flowing use of the written word Doty manages to give us a view into his unique observations of life and the world covering subject matter both benign and poignant.For these reasons, Fire to...more
CX Dillhunt
enjoying the new ones, fun to see which poems are selected from previous books which I've read...

couldn't stop reading, opening 50 pp of new poems show his skill and continued evolution; enjoyed re-reading earlier poems as well; SWEET MACHINE collection from 10 yrs ago is still a favorite & a favorite poem is 'Heaven for Paul" from the 2005 SCHOOL OF THE ARTS...

many other favorites including his dog poems, something I thought I'd never like..Doty's voice is incredible, it vibrates the page


Andrea
A beautiful book. Not my favorite, ever, but gorgeous all the same. And there is something that feels so good to read 318 pages of poetry, all by the same poet. I love the regular collections, the 70 pages of the average poetry collection, the unity of the idea, the power of the knockout punch, but to live within a poet's world for several days, to read poems from seven different collections, and new poems, from a spread of twenty years, is an experience unto itself. I've been intimidated by poe...more
Martin
and beauty resides not within
individual objects but in the nearly
unimaginable richness of their relation.


Doty is quite good at elucidating those tenuous connections between objects and subjects, exploring both the ordinary and transcendent. This being my first read I can't really give more of a review until I know the work better from further readings. But he's certainly a contemporary poet that I want to read again.
Deja
Been reading around in this in the morning, and had forgotten how gorgeous the Atlantis poems are. I read that volume many many years ago, and it felt lovely to return to it and find it still shimmering, which is a Doty word if there ever was one.

I look forward to reading around more and running into ones I've never seen.
Teresa
Mark Doty's incredible ability to describe events, objects, human emotion, tragedy, and most remarkably, beauty is exemplified in this collection. This is by far my favorite book of poetry. If you are not an aficionado of poetry or find yourself intimidated by it - don't pass this one by. You will be enriched by this.
Matthew Hittinger
Some nice new poems. Missing some of my favorites, though, like "Letter to Walt Whitman" and "An Island Sheaf: Key West". Most Selecteds fall short for me--I'd rather the integrity of the original collection.
Anna Rae
i fucking love him. this is a collection of poems. he is such a great observer of human nature. realistic and romantic at the same time.
Megan
I just couldn't get into this collection. Sure, I found a handful of poems I really did enjoy, but the rest seemed "blah" to me.
Judith
Some good, some not so good. The poems just didn't grab me, for the most part. I must say, he is certainly prolific.
Matt Layne
Mark Doty is my favorite poet to discover in 2010!
Sophia
I’ve been meaning to read a volume of poetry by Mark Doty, for years. I’ve always found ‘Night Ferry’ rather special and have re-read it many times.

I was, initially, disappointed with these poems, which kick off with New Poems, which were not as I’d expected. I suspect that what I find slightly off putting in New Poems was the suspicion that there wasn’t a lot to them. One of my notes reads “vocal ventriloquism.” Later – when I’d read the entire collection – I revised my opinion (I’d come to kno...more
Jonathan
Mark Doty is especially good in the new poems, I think, at capturing a sense of particularity within a city or community; he sets the individual within a moving scene (say, a New York City street or a Houston shop) and slows down the action to help us appreciate the variety of daily life.

I'm particularly fond of the new (and newer) poetry in this collection. I have to admit that some of the earlier poems, published during the peak years of the AIDS crisis, when Doty watched many friends and love...more
Brian
Doty writes with a fine ear and eye for the world around him. At times, in part due to the narrative character of his poetry, at other times due to my lack of focus, I found myself drifting away from the text, or skimming over it, trying to get to the end. Then little phrases, like: "I want to be quiet between little ribbons of speech" or "undulant in some uncapturable curve," would snap me back into attention. And:
"...And/ all the while that fluttering spirit/ of a kimono hung in the shop/ like...more
Lesley
I love Mark Doty. This book was a bit long, but it's my fault for looking at it as a book that must be read all at once. You can pick this up and read a poem or a section in one sitting, and get back to it later. Again, like I said of Brenda Hillman, not the type of poems I usually go for, though completely different from her work. Doty is a god at images. His poems are densely packed with intricate and often warring images, yet he makes them work perfectly together. Some poems are a bit long fo...more
Christina Marie Rau
Fire To Fire is a collection of new and selected Mark Doty poems. I found a gold mine. The new stuff, Theories and Apparitions, is touching, haunting, and unique. Doty knows how to capture a city--all his poems about urban life experience transport me to the city, the smells, the crowds, the hustle, the light between buildings onto the sidewalk. His way of working allusions to myth and traditional stories into modern day poetry is skillful and exhilerating.
A.G.
Most of it is very vivid and harks back to the beat day. Some selections are sort of slow, but, a good job over all. I like the imagery that is used when describing things in the world. Very realistic, and detailed descriptions. Though, he tends to re-use very placid words, over all I'd say it is one of the better ones that have come out in the last 10 years...
Will
I found Doty's poems good, solid, but frequently lacking the fire I was looking for in them. I didn't feel compelled by a spark of emotion to progress in the book, and they were certainly well crafted, I just couldn't love them. Like a talented but otherwise dull and homely child.
Doug
Many poets admire Doty's work, and I tried to embrace these poems. You can tell greatness is at work in places, but overall I was left outside. I'm willing to believe the problem is on my end, and so I'll come back and look at these in a year or two. But for now, no.
Christina Olivares
turtle, swan is one of my favorite poems

http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/...

lovely collection. his style isn't always my favorite to read, though he's excellent at what he does.
Rosemary
This is a beautiful collection of poetry about everything things -- good and bad. He's one of my favorite modern poets and has a way of making everything, even the most awful thing, seem glorious.
NL
i won't buy this until i deserve it but i was reading it in the bookstore the other day, remembering about trips to the Geraldine Dodge poetry festival with Kristen and Yasmin.
Hannah Notess
This is a really strong collection. I seem to be enjoying the poems from My Alexandria the most. I will have to check out that book.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 29 30 next »
  • Blood Dazzler
  • Some Ether
  • Native Guard
  • Life on Mars
  • Song
  • Geography III
  • Dancing in Odessa
  • The Book of Men
  • Time and Materials
  • Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form
  • What Work Is: Poems
  • Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems
  • Rose
  • Averno
  • Words Under the Words: Selected Poems
  • Human Dark with Sugar
  • Without: Poems
  • Selected Poems
61509
Mark 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.
More about Mark Doty...
Dog Years Still Life with Oysters and Lemon: On Objects and Intimacy My Alexandria Atlantis Heaven's Coast

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »