Selected Poems

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
While Ashbery is usually thought of as a complex, insular poet, he often reveals a sense of childlike wonder at the world: ``The spring, though mild, is incredibly wet./ I have spent the afternoon blowing soap bubbles.'' And if he is a writer who tackles eternal verities, the poet's selection of his verse for this collection shows that his immediate topics range from Popeye the Sailor to the Aquarian Age, Warren G. Harding and the weather. Ashbery recognizes that the creative artist today is ``barely tolerated, living on the margin/ in our technological society.'' Lyrics, long prose-poem meditations, haiku, conversational ramblings, and musings reminiscent of Wallace Stevens attest to the full range of his experimentalism. His themes are the growth of the self through pain, the possibilities for personal happiness, the distance between seeing and knowing. December
Library Journal
Self-Portrait won a Pulizer Prize, National Book Award, and National Book Critics Circle Award, but Ashbery remains famously abstruse. "Something important is going on here," says LJ reviewer Graham Christian, "and on the chance that we figure it out, Selected Poems is worth having."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140585537
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/28/1986
  • Series: Poets, Penguin Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 774,398
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Table of Contents

John Ashbery: Selected PoemsFrom Some Trees
Two Scenes
Popular Songs
The Instruction Manual
The Grapevine
A Boy
Glazunoviana
The Picture of Little J. A. in a Prospect of Flowers
Sonnet
The Young Son
Errors
Illustration
Some Trees
The Painter
And You Know
He
A Long Novel
The Pied Piper
Le Livre est sur la table

From The Tennis Court Oath
Thoughts of a Young Girl
"How Much Longer Will I Be Able to Inhabit the . . ."
White Roses
Our Youth
An Additional Poem
Faust
A Last World
From The New Realism

From Rivers and Mountains
Rivers and Mountains
Last Month
If the Birds Knew
Into the Dusk-Charged Air
The Ecclesiast
The Recent Past
A Blessing in Disguise
Clepsydra
From The Skaters

From The Double Dream of Spring
The Task
Spring Day
Plainness in Diversity
Soonest Mended
Summer
It Was Raining in the Capital
Variations, Calypso and Fugue on a Theme of Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Song
Decoy
For John Clare
Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape
Parergon
Some Words
The Bungalows
The Chateau Hardware
Sortes Vergilianae

From Three Poems
The System

From Self-Portrait In a Convex Mirror
As One Put Drunk into the Packet-Boat
Worsening Situation
Forties Flick
As You Came from the Holy Land
Scheherazade
Grand Galop
Hop o' My Thumb
Mixed Feelings
Märchenbilder
Oleum Misericordiae
Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror

From Houseboat Days
Street Musicians
The Other Tradition
Variant
Wooden Buildings
Pyrography
The Gazing Grain
Unctuous Platitudes
The Couple in the Next Room
Business Personals
Crazy Weather
On the Towpath
Bird's-Eye View of the Tool and Die Co.
Wet Casements
Saying It to Keep It from Happening
Daffy Duck in Hollywood
Houseboat Days
The Lament upon the Waters
And Ut Pictura Poesis Is Her Name
What Is Poetry
And Others, Vaguer Presences
The Wrong Kind of Insurance
Friends
The Ice-Cream Wars
Blue Sonata
Syringa
from Fantasia on "The Nut-Brown Maid"

From As We Know
From Litany
Silhouette
Many Wagons Ago
As We Know
Otherwise
Flowering Death
Haunted Landscape
My Erotic Double
Train Rising out of the Sea
Late Echo
And I'd Love You to Be in It
Tapestry
A Love Poem
This Configuration
Their Day
A Tone Poem
The Other Cindy
The Plural of "Jack-in-the-Box"

From Shadow Train
The Pursuit of Happiness
Punishing the Myth
Paradoxes and Oxymorons
Another Chain Letter
The Ivory Tower
At the Inn
The Absence of a Noble Presence
Qualm
Here Everything Is Stilll Floating
Some Old Tires
Something Similar
Or in My Throat
Untilted
The Leasing of September
Unusual Precautions
We Hesitate
Frontispiece
The Vegetarians

From A Wave
At North Farm
The Songs We Know Best
Landscape (After Baudelaire)
Just Walking Around
The Ongoing Story
Thank You for Not Cooperating
More Pleasant Adventures
Purists Will Object
37 Haiku
The Lonedale Operator
Darlene's Hospital
Whatever It Is, Wherever You Are
A Wave

Index

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