Poetry John Ashbery Where Shall I Wander

ISBN 13: 9780060765293

Where Shall I Wander

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9780060765293: Where Shall I Wander

You meant more than life to me. I lived
through you not knowing, not knowing I
was living.
I learned that you called for me. I came to
where you were living, up a stair. There
was no one there.
No one to appreciate me. The legality of it
upset a chair. Many times to celebrate
we were called together and where
we had been there was nothing there,
nothing that is anywhere. We passed
obliquely,
leaving no stare. When the sun was done
muttering,
in an optimistic way, it was time to leave
that there.

-- from "The New Higher"

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About the Author:

John Ashbery is the author of more than twenty books of poetry. his many awards include a Pulitzer Prize and, in 2012, a National Humanities Medal presented by President Obama at the White House.

From Publishers Weekly:

This 23rd collection from Harold Bloom's favorite living American poet is a modestly scaled affair: it doesn't end with a grand long poem, which has become an Ashbery trademark since Rivers and Mountains, nor is it especially big like Can You Hear, Bird nor does it even contain many poems that extend more than three pages (the title poem, at seven pages, is the longest). The book as a whole takes the pleasures of games and makes of them poetic seductions; the adjective "Ashberian"—part Joseph Cornell, part Henry James, part Close Encounters—is perhaps the only one possible to describe the work at this point: "Another's narrative supplants the crawling/ stock-market quotes. Like all good things/ life tends to go on too long.../ Rains bathe the rainbow,/ and the shape of night is an empty cylinder,/ focused at us, urging its noncompliance/ closer along the way we chose to go." Perhaps his secret is in providing us with the experience of terrible encounter in the comfort of our own poem, one that we can choose to occupy for years, even after discovering the beating heart under the floorboards. (Mar. 1)
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