The Mooring of Starting Out: The First Five Books of Poetry

The Mooring of Starting Out: The First Five Books of Poetry

by John Ashbery

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Overview

Most critics would agree that John Ashbery is one of 20th-century American poetry's finest voices. Perhaps his most admired book is Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror, a culmination of themes, styles, and forms with which the poet experimented over the course of two decades. Now, the poet's devoted readers can trace his development through the first five books of his poetry, collected here in one handy volume. The Mooring of Starting Out represents Ashbery's work from 1956 through 1972, comprising Some Trees, his first book; The Tennis Court Oath, written while he was living in Paris.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780880015479
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/01/1998
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.91(d)

About the Author

John Ashbery was born in Rochester, New York, in 1927. He wrote more than twenty books of poetry, including Quick Question; Planisphere; Notes from the Air; A Worldly Country; Where Shall I Wander; and Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror, which received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the National Book Award. The winner of many prizes and awards, both nationally and internationally, he received the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation in 2011 and a National Humanities Medal, presented by President Obama at the White House, in 2012. Ashbery died in September 2017 at the age of ninety.

Read an Excerpt

Two Scenes

1.

We see us as we truly behave:
From every corner comes a distinctive offering.
The train comes bearing joy;
The sparks it strikes illuminate the table.
Destiny guides the water-pilot, and it is destiny.
For long we hadn't heard so much news, such noise.
The day was warm and pleasant.
"We see you in your hair,
Air resting around the tips of mountains."

2.

A fine rain anoints the canal machinery.
This is perhaps a day of general honesty
Without example in the world's history
Though the fames are not of a singular authority
And indeed are dry as poverty.
Terrific units are on an old man
In the blue shadow of some paint cans
As laughing cadets say, "In the evening
Everything has a schedule, if you can find out what it is."

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Mooring of Starting Out: The First Five Books of Poetry 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
EdwardC on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A compilation of the Ashbery's first five books of poetry. Ashbery is a latter-day Wallace Stevens and yet unique.