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Where Shall I Wander

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Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

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) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060765309
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/14/2006
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 502,428
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.24 (d)

Meet 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.

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Read an Excerpt

Where Shall I Wander

New Poems
By John Ashbery

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright ©2006 John Ashbery
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060765305

O Fortuna

Good luck! Best wishes! The best of luck!
The very best! Godspeed! God bless you!
Peace be with you!
May your shadow never be less!
We can see through to the other side,
you see. It's your problem, we know,
but I can't help feeling a little envious.
What if darkness became unhinged right now?
Boomingly, swimmingly one remounts the current.
Here is where the shade was, the suggestion of flowers,
and peace, in another place.
Our competition is like tools of a certain order.
No one would have found them useful at first.
It wasn't until a real emergency arose, that someone
had the sense to recognize for what it was.
All hell didn't break loose, it was like a rising psalm
materializing like snow on an unseen mountain.
All that was underfoot was good, but lost.

Continues...


Excerpted from Where Shall I Wander by John Ashbery Copyright ©2006 by John Ashbery. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for thepersonal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Ignorance of the law is no excuse 1
O Fortuna 2
Affordable variety 3
Days of reckoning 4
Wastrel 6
Coma Berenices 7
The new higher 12
In those days 13
A visit to the house of fools 14
Dryness of mouth 15
Involuntary description 16
Holderlin marginalia 17
Told her to get on with it 23
The weather, for example 24
And counting 26
You spoke as a child 27
Interesting people of Newfoundland 28
Broken tulips 30
Retro 31
Capital O 33
Annuals and perennials 35
Wolf Ridge 36
When I saw the invidious flare 37
Heavy home 39
The situation upstairs 41
Well-lit places 43
Meaningful love 44
More feedback 46
Lost footage 47
The red easel 49
Novelty love trot 50
The template 52
From China to Peru 53
The injured party 56
A darning egg 57
Wild city 58
The bled weasel 60
A below-par star 61
The snow-stained petals aren't pretty any more 62
Tension in the rocks 64
Counterpane 65
Two million violators 67
Sonnet : more of same 68
The love interest 69
Composition 70
Like most seas 71
New concerns 72
The lost train 73
In the time of cherries 74
Where shall I wander 75
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First Chapter

Where Shall I Wander
New Poems

O Fortuna

Good luck! Best wishes! The best of luck!
The very best! Godspeed! God bless you!
Peace be with you!
May your shadow never be less!
We can see through to the other side,
you see. It's your problem, we know,
but I can't help feeling a little envious.
What if darkness became unhinged right now?
Boomingly, swimmingly one remounts the current.
Here is where the shade was, the suggestion of flowers,
and peace, in another place.
Our competition is like tools of a certain order.
No one would have found them useful at first.
It wasn't until a real emergency arose, that someone
had the sense to recognize for what it was.
All hell didn't break loose, it was like a rising psalm
materializing like snow on an unseen mountain.
All that was underfoot was good, but lost.

Where Shall I Wander
New Poems
. Copyright © by John Ashbery. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 4 )
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