February 27, 2013

The Art of Description, by Mark Doty


Mark Doty is a poet and essayist whose Art of Description is a volume in the "The Art of" series of books curated by Charles Baxter. If you ever want to take a stroll down memory lane and experience the kind of "literary appreciation" that used to characterize literary criticism but has been out of vogue for decades, check out his parsing of Elizabeth Bishop's poem "The Fish" or George Herbert's "Prayer." I also love his proposal that what description describes is not the world but rather a particular consciousness (that of the author or narrator) at work.

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