More from the Mark Doty book: he regularly compares painting—and so art, in general—to poetry, in its evocative, metaphorical syntax and usage and the ways it affects us when we experience it.
In still life, it’s the same: these things had a history, a set of personal meanings; they were someone’s. The paintings seem to refer to this life of ownership, and to suggest something of the feeling attached to things, while withholding any narrative. What could we ever know of this cup or platter, the pearl-handled knife? Their associations are long since dead, though something of the personal seems to glow here still, all its particulars distilled into an aura of intimacy.Mark Doty, Still Life With Oysters and Lemon