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Wakefulness

John Ashbery

Cover Picture of Wakefulness
RRP: GBP£ 7.95
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Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 857543 34 6
Categories: 20th Century, American
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: June 1998
216 x 135 mm
80 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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  • Everything was spotless in the little house of our desire,
    the clock ticked on and on, happy about
    being apprenticed to eternity.

                                                         from Wakefulness


    'Little by little the idea of the true way returned to me,' John Ashbery writes early in his new collection. Each sense is wakened up. So are all the spirits. Many whispers, voices chantant dans la coupole: passions, leaves, loves, flutes, insects, paintings, apologies, partings. We are in history, and in the present, too - in buildings, churches, homes, cars and trains, making our way to Baltimore and Bucharest, to the zoo, the park, the future.

    The poems have a confession they can't quite bring themselves to make, apologies that can't quite pin themselves down. Ashbery's digressions are wily, heartbreaking or vertiginous. There are departures, fears of departure, and the fact of time: time versus the heart's vagaries and the curiosities of eye and ear. The search for epiphanies continues, the clock ticks.
    John Ashbery is the author of more than twenty books of poetry, most recently Quick Question (January 2013). He is the recipient of many honours, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and a MacArthur ‘genius’ award. Born in Rochester, New York, he was educated at Harvard and Columbia. In ... read more
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