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...where the usual publisher's list might be like the contents of a bookshop, Carcanet's was like the contents of a private library. More than that, over the years, the Carcanet list has grown without any dilution of seriousness, so that looking at it now is like being invited to read the contents of a poet's library.
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ISBN: 978 1 857543 34 6
Categories: 20th Century, American
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: June 1998
216 x 135 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Everything was spotless in the little house of our desire,
the clock ticked on and on, happy about
being apprenticed to eternity.
'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.
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