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The Embrace Analysis

Author: poem of Mark Doty Type: poem Views: 14

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You weren't well or really ill yet either;

just a little tired, your handsomeness

tinged by grief or anticipation, which brought

to your face a thoughtful, deepening grace.

I didn't for a moment doubt you were dead.

I knew that to be true still, even in the dream.

You'd been out—at work maybe?—

having a good day, almost energetic.

We seemed to be moving from some old house

where we'd lived, boxes everywhere, things

in disarray: that was the story of my dream,

but even asleep I was shocked out of narrative

by your face, the physical fact of your face:

inches from mine, smooth-shaven, loving, alert.

Why so difficult, remembering the actual look

of you? Without a photograph, without strain?

So when I saw your unguarded, reliable face,

your unmistakable gaze opening all the warmth

and clarity of you—warm brown tea—we held

each other for the time the dream allowed.

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.

Submitted by Jason Clapham


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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Mark Doty wrote this about his husband that died of AIDS. It isn't a representation about a woman and a man it is Doty telling about a dream after his husband died. there are no women in this poem.

| Posted on 2017-03-26 | by a guest

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This poem is a personal narrative about Doty and his partner who died from AIDS. THERE ARE NO WOMEN IN THIS POEM, IT IS TWO MEN.

| Posted on 2016-11-18 | by a guest

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this poem is a bout a feek of a man crushin to his fathers gaff for a bit of lush.And then he found out his father has dead. Jail.

| Posted on 2013-02-01 | by a guest

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The persona is a woman and she is talking about the death of her father, who died of cancer. The mention of him \"at work\", his \"handsomeness\", \"reliable\" face, \"unmistakable\" gaze. This makes me believe it was her father, as opposed to it being her lover. Also in the last stanza where she mentions \"so I could rest against you\" also alludes to a father letting his daughter rest as he is protecting her.

| Posted on 2012-10-22 | by a guest

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I have a big questioon. Why is there a Question mark after \"strain\" does that emphasizes how she is deeply thinking?

| Posted on 2011-02-20 | by a guest

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Actually, i think that the "Embrace" by Mark Doty, is about a mother losing her son. She remember the time when he was a healthy young man, full of energy anad now she can she those same days just as clear..

| Posted on 2010-07-06 | by a guest

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Mark Doty is writing this poem to his lover who died of aids.

| Posted on 2010-02-04 | by a guest

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This poem speaks of the gratitude of the surviving lover that he has a chance to say goodbye (albeit in a dream) to the person he loved without reliving the grief of his dying, seeing his partner as he was before the truama and changes wrecked by illness. (Especially the stresses and wasting that tends to be wrought by AIDS.)

| Posted on 2008-12-12 | by a guest

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The persona created by Mark Doty is representation of a woman, who is embracing the moments she had with her husband in a dream. The line "you handsomeness tinged by grief or anticipation" describes his situation, where he is ill to the point of death, yet his handsomeness is still shining through. Then the persona or the wife is embracing the time she has in the dream because when she wakes up her husband will be gone. The last stanza creates the whole idea of the poem, letting the reader know that the entire poem was a dream, and that she got to see her husband once more without thinking about him being alive again.

| Posted on 2008-09-18 | by a guest

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