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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
  1. $18.19 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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The Art of Description: World Into Word (Art Of...)

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The Art of Description: World Into Word (Art Of...) Cover

ISBN13: 9781555975630
ISBN10: 1555975631
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“It sounds like a simple thing, to say what you see,” Mark Doty begins. “But try to find words for the shades of a mottled sassafras leaf, or the reflectivity of a bay on an August morning, or the very beginnings of desire stirring in the gaze of someone looking right into your eyes . . .” Doty finds refuge in the sensory experience found in poems by Blake, Whitman, Bishop, and others. The Art of Description is an invaluable book by one of Americas most revered writers and teachers.

Review:

"'To use words at all is to use them figuratively,' says Doty in his writing guide, part of Graywolf's 'The Art of...' series. As both a National Book Award-winning poet (Fire to Fire) and accomplished memoirist (Dog Years), Doty is not only qualified but uniquely articulate on the subject. How does a poet create color? Landscape? Context? Saying 'blue' or 'field' means different things to different people, and also falls short of encompassing any kind of atmosphere or significance. 'Poetry's project is to use every aspect of language to its maximum effectiveness, finding within it nuances and powers we otherwise could not hear,' he says, and in order to capture the 'texture of experience,' the poet must be aware of what is actually in front of him or her, both physically and metaphorically. Because the simple act of looking involves interpretation, descriptions are, in a sense, 'self portraits'--no two people see the same way, so the poet inevitably puts him or herself into each and every image. For Doty, the art of description is mostly 'a balance between terms, saying what you see and saying what you see.' (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

About the Author

MARK DOTY is the author of eight collections of poetry, including Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems, which won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2008. He teaches at Rutgers University and lives in New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

peter in port, March 30, 2011 (view all comments by peter in port)
Is the physical world separate and apart from the words we use to describe it, or is language a part of the world as it describes it. Mark Doty analyzes some excellent poetry as he wrestles with the question of what makes good descriptive writing. As much philosophy as about the art of writing.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781555975630
Author:
Doty, Mark
Publisher:
Graywolf Press
Subject:
Writing Skills
Subject:
Reference
Subject:
Composition & Creative Writing - Poetry
Subject:
Description (Rhetoric)
Subject:
Reference/Writing
Copyright:
Edition Description:
World Into Word (Art Of...)
Series:
Art Of...
Publication Date:
20100731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
128
Dimensions:
7.05 x 5.06 x 0.44 in

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Humanities
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » Criticism and Discussion
Humanities » Literary Criticism » Poetry Criticism
Reference » General
Reference » Writing » General

The Art of Description: World Into Word (Art Of...) New Trade Paper
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Product details 128 pages Graywolf Press - English 9781555975630 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'To use words at all is to use them figuratively,' says Doty in his writing guide, part of Graywolf's 'The Art of...' series. As both a National Book Award-winning poet (Fire to Fire) and accomplished memoirist (Dog Years), Doty is not only qualified but uniquely articulate on the subject. How does a poet create color? Landscape? Context? Saying 'blue' or 'field' means different things to different people, and also falls short of encompassing any kind of atmosphere or significance. 'Poetry's project is to use every aspect of language to its maximum effectiveness, finding within it nuances and powers we otherwise could not hear,' he says, and in order to capture the 'texture of experience,' the poet must be aware of what is actually in front of him or her, both physically and metaphorically. Because the simple act of looking involves interpretation, descriptions are, in a sense, 'self portraits'--no two people see the same way, so the poet inevitably puts him or herself into each and every image. For Doty, the art of description is mostly 'a balance between terms, saying what you see and saying what you see.' (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
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