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Selected Poems
     

Selected Poems

by John Ashbery
 

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From the early virtuosity of Some Trees and The Tennis Court Oath through the triumphs of The Double Dream of Spring and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror to the latest brilliance of A Wave—each new collection of John Ashbery’s verse has broken new ground.

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Overview

From the early virtuosity of Some Trees and The Tennis Court Oath through the triumphs of The Double Dream of Spring and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror to the latest brilliance of A Wave—each new collection of John Ashbery’s verse has broken new ground.

Now, from the whole range of a lifetime’s work, Ashbery has chosen his own selection of 138 poems, including short lyrics, haiku, prose poems, and many of his major long poems. Seeing these great works together in one volume, readers will be able to savor a distillation of John Ashbery’s work and appreciate fully how remarkable is his achievement.

“Contains Ashbery’s greatest work and confirms his position as one of America’s finest poets since Wallace Stevens.”—Edward Guerschi, Newsday

“Mr. Ashbery remains one of his generation’s most gifted and eloquent poets . . . He writes persuasively—and movingly—of the poetic process, of the attempts of the artist to wring order out of chaos.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“No other poet is as daring . . .. None inhabits such a Versailles of the imagination. This formidable new volume offers the finest of his oeuvre.”—Carolyn Forche, Vanity Fair 

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."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140585537
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/28/1986
Series:
Penguin Poets Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
881,303
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.92(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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