segunda-feira, 17 de maio de 2010


Situando-me eu, no eterno conflito entre cães e gatos, na confraria dos primeiros, não posso deixar de inserir aqui uma referência a um livro de um poeta que muito aprecio.
É ele Mark Doty, e seu livro Dog Years.
A propósito de My Alexandria, um poderosíssimo livro de poemas que trouxe para os meus seminários de mestrado, pela primeira vez, no ano lectivo de 1997/98, escreveu Ruth Padel no New York Times a 17 de Março de 2002:

"Mark Doty's 'My Alexandria' (1993), a collection of poems about his partner's struggle with AIDS, made him the only American poet to have won Britain's T. S. Eliot Prize. 'Source,' his sixth collection, is sure to widen his audience on both sides of the Atlantic.

'Source' is billed as a book that explores selfhood; it also explores Americanness. Doty's work has always celebrated surfaces and lyric glitter. 'Every sequin,' he says in an earlier book, is 'an act of praise.' His focus is on the patina: the gloss of glass flowers, skin flakes that scuff off a crackhead in the subway like 'moth-wing dust.' In 'Source,' a luminous haze above Manhattan stirs him to conclude: 'heaven is a platinum latitude / over Fifth, fogged result / of sun on brushed / steel, pearl / dimensions. Cézanne: / 'We are an iridescent chaos.'

The surfaces in 'Source' are intensely, and self-reflectingly, American. Through poems about paintings, cityscapes and people, Doty is searching out the American self. In one poem, a tattoo artist needles a heart into his partner's arm: 'heron-dark, and ringed / by blue exultant bits of sweat or flame.' In another, the poet observes the self-portrait of a child brandishing an ice-cream cone 'as if it were the flag / of his own country held high' and wonders how it is that lines on a page can 'possess a portion / of the nervous energy / in their maker's hand.'

The underlying speculation beneath the surface of these poems is about art's expression of self. 'It isn't craft,' Doty writes, that gives the child's artless lines, his vision of his own body, the power to move an observer. Doty also turns to the archpriest of body and self. In this book's most ambitious poem, 'Letter to Walt Whitman,' Doty approaches Whitman, at least in part, through his stuffed parrot..."

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