During his career John Ashbery has been hailed as the "eminence grise" of postmodernism, championed by W.H. Auden and has carried off every major literary prize. His startling work alternately (and sometimes simultaneously) playful and recondite, affirms poetry's power to astonish and tackle fundamentals. Drawn from the work he published up to ...
During his career John Ashbery has been hailed as the "eminence grise" of postmodernism, championed by W.H. Auden and has carried off every major literary prize. His startling work alternately (and sometimes simultaneously) playful and recondite, affirms poetry's power to astonish and tackle fundamentals. Drawn from the work he published up to 1984, from the spare, beautiful lyrics of "Some Trees" and the disjunctive, experimentalism of "The Tennis Court Oath", to the powerful mediations on subjectivity of "Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror" and "A Wave", this collection makes a wide range of this poet's writing available.
First edition. Second state with "Now reprinted by permission of Wesleyan University Press. c[opyright] 1959, 1962, 1957, and 1960 (respectively) by John Ashbery" pasted onto copyright page. According to the printer, there were 1000 copies total: 250 of the first state, 250 of the second state and 500 of the third state. Fine in dust jacket with just a tiny rub at lower front spine fold. A beautiful, bright copy.
Fine copy in fine(-) dust jacket; dj has only trivial rubbing to spine ends & bottom corners, else a very handsome copy. 8vo 8 3/4"x 5 5/8" "second state" w/ copyright strip; cream book-tape w/ turquoise textured-paper boards; gilt lettering on spine; 62 pgs; illus dust jacket w/ 18s. on front flap; selected from author's 1st three books; no U.S. ed. jacket design by Leigh Taylor.
Ashbery is the most respected living poet (as of october of '08) but I don't particularly like him. He is highly influenced by the surrealists, apparently, and his poems have no logical flow, which I find maddening. That being said, he is not unpleasant per se because his use of language is fun and he has a sense of humor. Also, the book is formatted just fine, with a generous selection of his poems and index of titles.
Publishers Weekly, 1985-11-15 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
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