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4.19  ·  Rating details ·  857 ratings  ·  51 reviews
The poignant, accomplished new collection of poetry from the author of My Alexandria--1993 winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, Los Angeles Times Book Award, 1993 National Book Award Finalist.
Paperback, 112 pages
Published September 1st 1995 by Harper Perennial
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4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  857 ratings  ·  51 reviews

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Diane S ☔
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 i love poetry, it is often soothing to me, makes me look at things in different ways. This book came in my Strand book box, and it was a poet of which I had never heard. It highlights the beauty of the natural world, some striking images are invoked. It is also about death, death due to AIDS, but also the natural death due to their natural cycle in nature. Sunflowers, green crabs and even mackerel. It is hard to describe poetry without including a sample, unless it is a widely known poet. Un ...more
Julie Ehlers
A brave candling theory
I'm making for you,
little lamplight; believe,

and ripple out free
as shimmer is. Go.
Don't go. Go.

I'm not sure anyone writes about death better than Mark Doty does, but I'm not sure anyone writes about life better than Mark Doty does, either. Atlantis is the poetry collection that deals the most directly with the death of his partner, Wally, from AIDS, but when I think about it ten days after finishing it, I see a riot of colors and textures: brightly hued half-submerged boa
Mar 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
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. (Afte
Mar 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
In my extensive reading of poetry, I have studied no other poet as much as I have Mark Doty. With each book of his I read, I am able to more quickly notice and learn new craft lessons, partly because I am so familiar with his style and partly because his content is so immediately discernible to me (due to certain parallels in our lives). With this collection, I was able to see what his critics are saying when they point out how his descriptions of color and light tend to meander a bit too long. ...more
Jul 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry-poetics, 2007, own
Mark Doty looks at things most of us wouldn't notice and turns them into meaning. Rows of frozen mackeral, a crab shell. He finds consolation for death in the ocean's cast offs. In this graceful collection, none stands out above the rest..."the price of gleaming."
Jun 24, 2018 added it
I think I love the ‘idea’ of poetry. I love the thought that there are poets and poems out in the world. It feels very romantic to me. I just have to accept that I will probably never be part of that world. And it’s ok. We’ll leave it where it is. :)
May 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
On a first read "Atlantis" can be painfully slow reading, as Doty seems to spend the first half of every poem lost in detailed description. However, upon a second or third reading, my appreciation for the collection deepened significantly. For lurking underneath much of the description are the painful themes of loss and slow decay. Indeed, the central eponymous poem, "Atlantis," chronicles the death of Doty’s lover Wally Roberts.

By far my favorite poem in the collection, however, is "Homo Will N
Jul 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Most People
Shelves: poetry
This is an easy to read book of poems that really captures the beauty underlying what is horrible in the world.

"the world is made beautiful by its beautiful clothes."

That may be a misquote, but you get the point.
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful volume of words. Description is powerful and meaningful, as Doty teaches us. His gorgeous musings on nature and meditations on death were so moving. I loved reading this and can see myself reading it again and again. I can't wait to read more of Doty's work.
Diann Blakely
Mark Doty's third collection, MY ALEXANDRIA, won the 1993 National Book Critics Circle Award, and his new volume of poems, ATLANTIS, crowns its predecessor's substantial achievements. Its mythical title notwithstanding, the realm of Atlantis is fully human, subject to forces that make most things seem "fallen down, broken apart, carried away." Yet among Doty's notable strengths is his ability to celebrate this realm of grief and loss as a place that nonetheless offers an array of "gorgeous[ness] ...more
Melissa Ward
Apr 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Mark Doty – “Atlantis”
HarperCollins Books, 1995

Mark Doty seems to paint one fluid stream of pictures in his brilliant collection of poetry, “Atlantis.” He provides a thought provoking, and world questioning escape by truly mastering the art of flow, making his poems run like a stream trickling over tiny stones. Though each poem illuminates a different moment, they all seem to run together in one glorious landscape. The attention to detail Doty pays to the smallest things or moments is brilliant.
Mar 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love Mark Doty. I'm as much his groupie as one can be for a poet. I've seen him read several times, and he always makes me weep. His poems are both clever and important. Whether contemplating our souls, wondering "if we could be opened / into this / if the smallest chambers / of ourselves / similarly, / revealed some sky" (9), or meditating on age, relating that "I felt both young and awake / which I never felt / when I was young" (52), his work provides some insightful perspectives on life's ...more
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I picked up this 1995 Mark Doty collection out of one of those "little free library" boxes. I had admired several individual Doty poems I had read in the past and took it as a sign it was time to get back to some poetry. In short, the poems that comprise almost the first half of the book are flowing over with Doty's skills, yet weighted down by many metaphors in their search for something profound.

Then we get the suite of poems entitled "Atlantis", and Doty's heart breaks in and that magical th
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My favorite poem in this collection is "Rope." Perfect description of Provincetown, Massachusetts. The poet has captured the town in many of the poems. The AIDS struggle is another theme of this collection. Beautiful poems!
Lindsey Grundyson
Sep 29, 2018 rated it liked it
A good collection of poetry on death and dying. The poems were primarily focused on imagery and many of those images relied heavily on color which is just not my cup of tea. Not bad though! There were bits I found very moving.
Brendan Brady
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
a powerful collection documenting loss in its most severe forms. beautiful descriptions and images, although Doty’s use of color almost becomes satirical— certainly an expensive knowledge of
the color spectrum
Lauren Mendez
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-books-read
Atlantis is filled with honesty, pain, and the experience of loving in the midst of illness and sorrow. The poems are beautiful and raw.
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, lgbtq
Absolutely heartbreaking and wonderful. Doty's poetry skips and arcs across the page like droplets left over from the splash. Listen:
This drenched failure suggests
a whole aesthetic of ruin: salt patinas,
flacked and scoured exactitudes,
a history of color: Venetian reds,

brazilwood, cochineal. Here, morello,
the color of ripe Italian blackberries

The whole book really is this wonderful; I couldn't pick a favorite quote to capture the elegance of Doty's words. The descriptions are vivid, with a heavy
Brian Wasserman
Feb 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
another award winner wrote a book, oh wow he makes an allusion to walmart and blockbuster video in his poem Migratory, how cute
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I adore Mark Doty's work, so I think you all know how this review's going to go. Atlantis is one of those collections that inspires both despair and hope, that manages to articulate the horrors and fears of death, decay and illness while finding some beauty in the bleak to hold on to, or to remember. Tender is the word that comes to mind, and Doty is gentle while unflinching. The poems 'A Green Crab's Shell' (Not, exactly, green:/closer to bronze/preserved in kind brine/something retrieved/from ...more
Yifei Men
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, medicine, memoir
This is my first Mark Doty collection, and will look forward to his other works.

The poems are lyrical, elegiac but restraint and beautiful.

Doty is an artist that is aware of the metaphysics of writing -- his thoughts on the transformation of meaning in writing comes through strongly in the first poem we encounter, titled "Description":

What is description, after all,
but encoded desire?

And if we say
the marsh, if we forge
terms for it, then isn't it

contained in us, a little,
the brightness?"

Suppose we could iridesce,

like these, and lose ourselves
entirely in the universe
of shimmer - would you want

to be yourself only,
unduplicatable, doomed
to be lost? They'd prefer,

plainly, to be flashing participants,
multitudinous. Even now
they seem to be bolting

forward, heedless of stasis.
They don't care they're dead
and nearly frozen,

just as, presumably,
they didn't care that they were living:
all, all for all,

the rainbowed school
and its acres of brilliant classrooms,
in which no verb is sing
Namitha Varma
May 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, lgbt, ebooks
Mark Doty's poetry combines the aesthetics and eye of a painter with the talent of a writer. His poems are canvases with multi-hued strokes of evocative and intricate imagery. While this is reminiscent of the Romantics, the poems differ in the choice and treatment of subjects. One of the repetitive imageries is related to ships and harbours.

One of the stars goes out of this review because of the length of each poems - they are so long and filled with so many images that many a times I found mys
Apr 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-poetry
I totally loved this book. It was moving, beautifully written with evidence of great craftsmanship. The book is a deeply emotional book as Doty contemplates the death of Wally Roberts from AIDS amidst an ongoing plague of AIDS. There is great tragedy in this book, but also great humanity and striking beauty. I admired the tightness of Doty's forms which managed to house passionate and intellgent thoughts. A terrific read.
Richard Jespers
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love "Rope"

But who'd suggest Charley's lived
long enough? Think of Solomon,
who commanded the child be divided
between mothers; who could cut apart
one living thing, or sever the rope
that holds them both

in the world? It's frayed as it is.
Art is this storng,
exactly: love's gravity,
the weight of Charley's body,
in his rope harness, suspended
from his master's hand"

Dec 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
What continues to amaze me about Doty's work is how he can balance the tragic subject matter, the incredible poetic impulse, and still maintain a firm awareness of the craft necessary to make a good poem. These poems aren't too controlled, they are masterfully composed. The one image from this book that I enjoy most is the line between ocean and bay. Simple, vivid, but how it resonates deepens through the course of the book.
Christina M Rau
Jan 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: poetry
Atlantis, unfortunately, was not worth the wait. His poems are very prosey. Many are overly-sentimental, the tone overbearing to the point where the meaning gets blurred. This collection works well for a medical discourse in literature class though.

Some lines popped from the dullness. His stuff about the city is moving and smart. Some images made me go, wow maybe the rest will be as good as this. No, these moments were rare gems.

Moira McPartlin
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry-challenge
Mark Doty has used the elemental forces around the sea and weather to illustrate the tragedy of loosing someone you love too soon. I loved this collection, where he delivers one unique metaphor after the other without anything sounding forced or sentimental. My favorite poem is Two Ruined Boats, even the title speaks.
Oct 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: poets, poetry fans, those interested in gay subjects/issues or AIDS/HIV-related material
Shelves: poetry
Again, amongst my top 5 poets, Doty's work is simultaneously lush and spare, stark and overripe. Even lighter obervations like his amazing and lean "Display of Mackerel" bristle with deep questions of hope and mortality.
Christine Potter
Nov 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: folks who read poetry
The usual stunning language and solid emotional core that Doty seems to always have in his writing (poetry or prose!) is very much present in this colleciton of poetry. These poems really do see "the world in a grain of sand" as Blake would have it.
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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.
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“And now, a heap of roses
beside the sea, white rugosa
beside the foaming hem of shore:

waxen candles…
And we talk
as if death were a line to be crossed.
Look at them, the white roses.
Tell me where they end.”
More quotes…