Academy of American Poets
View Cart | Log In 
Subscribe | More Info 
Find a Poet or Poem
Advanced Search >
Mark Doty
Mark Doty
Born on August 10, 1953, Mark Doty is the author of several collections of poetry, most recently Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems, which received the 2008 National Book Award...
More >
Want more poems?
Subscribe to our
Poem-A-Day emails.
Sponsor a Poet Page | Add to Notebook | Email to Friend | Print

Robert Harms Paints the Surface
of Little Fresh Pond

by Mark Doty

Surface the action of the day,

a means of tracing the dynamic,
so that a jitter of blue's
sparked by little coals, 

sun a glimmer 
of the day's intent. He knows
to trace an alphabet written on water 

is to surface the action of the day,

a way of proceeding,
entering into the never-
to-be repeated,
a way of reading
a nearly infinite variety of gestures 
legible only to one versed

in surface, the action of the day. 

When my eye nearly failed 
—the frail foil-back torn,
wild profusion of smoke-curls,

what I saw was just this: 
what he sees on and in water,
by his hand

the action of surface notated,

the rhythm of things 
discerned and ridden.

Copyright 2010 by Mark Doty. Used with permission of the author.
Larger TypeLarger Type | Home | Help | Contact Us | Privacy Policy Copyright © 1997 - 2014 by Academy of American Poets.