School of the Arts: Poems

School of the Arts: Poems

by Mark Doty


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060752460
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/28/2006
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.29(d)

About the Author

Mark Doty's books of poetry and nonfiction prose have been honored with numerous distinctions, including the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Martha Albrand Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and, in the United Kingdom, the T. S. Eliot Prize. In 2008, he won the National Book Award for Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems. He is a professor at the University of Houston, and he lives in New York City.

Read an Excerpt

School of the Arts

By Mark Doty

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Mark Doty
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060752467

Heaven for Helen

Helen says heaven, for her,
would be complete immersion
in physical process,
without self-consciousness -

to be the respiration of the grass,
or ionized agitation
just above the break of a wave,
traffic in a sunflower's thousand golden rooms.

Images of exchange,
and of untrammeled nature.
But if we're to become part of it all,
won't our paradise also involve

participation in being, say,
diesel fuel, the impatience of trucks
on August pavement,
weird glow of service areas

along the interstate at night?
We'll be shiny pink egg cartons,
and the thick treads of burst tires
along the highways in Pennsylvania:

a hell we've made to accompany
the given: we will join
our tiresome productions,
things that want to be useless forever.

But that's me talking. Helen
would take the greatest pleasure
in being a scrap of paper,
if that's what there were to experience.

Perhaps that's why she's a painter,
finally: to practice disappearing
into her scrupulous attention,
an exacting rehearsal for the larger

world of things it won't be easy to love.
Helen I think will master it, though Imay not.
She has practiced a long time learning to see.
I have devoted myself to affirmation,

when I should have kept my eyes on the ground.


Excerpted from School of the Arts by Mark Doty Copyright © 2006 by Mark Doty. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents

Heaven for Helen1
Heaven for Stanley7
The Hours12
Notebook/To Lucian Freud/On the Veil18
In the Same Space28
Shahid's Couplet29
Oncoming Train30
Heaven for Paul31
To Garcia Lorca36
In Their Flight39
Letter to God42
Now You're an Animal47
The Valut50
1The Bootblack51
2Double Embrace53
3To Caravaggio57
5The Acknowledgment60
6The Harness62
7The Blessing63
Late Flight65
Fire to Fire67
Meditation: "The Night of Time"72
The Stairs76
The Art Auction78
The Pink Poppy83
Heaven for Beau88
Time and the Town91
School of the Arts93
Heaven for Arden103

What People are Saying About This

Ilya Kaminsky

“Achieve[s] a quiet grandeur with a voice marked by the clarity and thoughtful lyricism that distinguished his earlier collections.”

Alan Shapiro

“Memorable, essential, big hearted, joyous in music ... this is the finest book of poems by one of our finest poets.”

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