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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immortal
Rarely do you come across a poet able to maintain a voice as pure and frank as Mark Doty's. He approaches prevalent themes such as grief, loss, and love with enchanting diction, virtue, and elegance. Beyond his ability to achieve the perfect balance of lyric, image, narrative, mystery, and form, his unwavering beauty (I think) lies somewhere in the synergy of candor and...
Published on October 11, 2003 by Allison Jenks

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Machine is not Sweet, it is bitter.
Sweet Machine has turned me into a black sheep. Either I have no taste or very bad taste or I felt off the planet when modern poetry came into the world. But Mark Doty is one of the most bloviating poets I have encountered. Not only his poems are verbose (anti-poetry, nonpoetry?, counterpoetry?, no?) but they are easily forgettable. Perhaps what contributes to his...
Published on July 31, 2009 by Exordia N.


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immortal, October 11, 2003
By 
Allison Jenks (Tallahassee, Fl United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sweet Machine: Poems (Paperback)
Rarely do you come across a poet able to maintain a voice as pure and frank as Mark Doty's. He approaches prevalent themes such as grief, loss, and love with enchanting diction, virtue, and elegance. Beyond his ability to achieve the perfect balance of lyric, image, narrative, mystery, and form, his unwavering beauty (I think) lies somewhere in the synergy of candor and compassion, as in the ending of one of my favorite poems (a direct-address to a lover who has passed and returns in a dream) "Bless you. You came back, so I could see you once more, plainly, so I could rest against you without thinking this happiness lessened anything, without thinking you were alive again." In short, his poems are brimming with that rare magic that make poets want to write.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doty casts his spell, June 18, 2003
By 
Roger (Mt. Airy, PA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sweet Machine: Poems (Paperback)
This is a beautiful book, full of poems that call the reader to be more fully human, more empathetic, more intelligent, more intensely alive. Doty is a writer's writer, in that his work sensitizes the reader to the magical powers of language as well as to the beauty and richness of the world he writes about with such passion. Thank you, Mark Doty!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love Doty, August 11, 2014
This review is from: Sweet Machine: Poems (Paperback)
Love Mark Doty. Everyone should read his latest "Dog Years." Especially anyone suffering a loss. It is the best grief book I have ever read. Forget the Phds on grief and just read his personal story and you will be cleansed.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wondrous., June 12, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Sweet Machine: Poems (Paperback)
i was so very happy when this book came out - hard to follow up to atlantis, but this book manages to soar to new heights in its lyric intensity and overall emotional arc. mature and beautiful, sewn with expertise and true poetic vision.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Machine is not Sweet, it is bitter., July 31, 2009
By 
Exordia N. (Iowa City, Iowa USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sweet Machine: Poems (Paperback)
Sweet Machine has turned me into a black sheep. Either I have no taste or very bad taste or I felt off the planet when modern poetry came into the world. But Mark Doty is one of the most bloviating poets I have encountered. Not only his poems are verbose (anti-poetry, nonpoetry?, counterpoetry?, no?) but they are easily forgettable. Perhaps what contributes to his verbosity is his poetic language, which he seems to have plucked and pulled like dough from the gaudy doorknobs of history (particularly from the Byzantine Era). Also, he borrows a few commonly used nouns from Jorie Graham (like San Marco which I recalled from her Erosion collection). Though his poems are nothing near the sharp style of Jorie Graham. After reading his "Door to the River," which I thought was the only exquisite thing of his Sweet Machine collection, I couldn't remember what it was that I was reading.

However, let me be nice. Here is something beautiful, not verbose, that he has written:

"despite which the mouth of the flower/-quick and temporary as any gesture made by desire-"

Let me conclude this criticism: Reading Mark Doty poems is like having a visceral frontal lobotomy
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Broken, the better to glitter, October 31, 2000
By 
William Krischke (Portland, OR United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sweet Machine: Poems (Paperback)
Mark Doty is passionately in love with frivolity, and that is a good thing. In about half the poems in this book, he joyously celebrates the frivolous -- fleeting beauty, the unnecessary (but is it really?) the joy of delicacy and frailty. His style fits his subject well -- at times it feels light enough to simply float off the page, wisp away into nothingness. This book is beautifully lyrical, sweet and light poetry. Favorites are "White Kimono", "Lilies in New York", and, especially, "Messiah(Christmas Portions".
With that in mind, I think my favorite poems in the book come towards the end, when he settles down a bit. Maybe this is just more my style and sensibility. Either way, Doty shows hints of a great range and ability.
His form stays pretty constant -- short lines, grouped in threes, building 2-3 page poems that have both of the sense of being long and of flying by.
Here is a poet who loves language, and flaunts it -- and I mean that in the best way imaginable. While his work may not be incredibly important, thank God that not all good poetry has to be incredibly important. Here are poems of joyride and dance. Enjoy.
A sample poem:
CONCERNING SOME RECENT CRITICISM OF HIS WORK
--Glaze and shimmer,
luster and gleam,
can't he think of anything
but all that sheen?
--No such thing,
the queen said,
as too many sequins.
--
if you'd like to discuss these poems, or poetry, books, anything else with me, e-mail me at williekrischke@hotmail.com.
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2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely as a Trinket in a Pawn Shop, November 28, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Sweet Machine: Poems (Paperback)
The author seems bitten by some exotic bug. The text is both florid an prosaic, like passages from the Sears catalog. Even such ordinary subjects as getting crabs or donning a frightwig seem to become somehow more ordinary under the author's heavy hand. It's as if the author is not writing poetry at all.
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Sweet Machine: Poems
Sweet Machine: Poems by Mark Doty (Paperback - March 4, 1998)
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