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The Mooring of Starting Out
ISBN: 978 1 857543 66 7
Categories: 20th Century, American, Art
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: November 1997
216 x 135 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
And after which you led me to water
And bade me drink, which I did, owing to your kindness.
You would not let me out for two days and three nights,
Bringing me books bound in wild thyme and scented wild grasses
As if reading had any interest for me, you . . .
Now you are laughing.
Darkness interrupts my story.
Turn on the light.
Meanwhile what am I going to do?
I am growing up again, in school, the crisis will be very soon.
And you twist the darkness in your fingers, you
Who are slightly older . . .
Who are you, anyway?
from `How Much Longer Will I Be Able To Inhabit The Divine Sepulcher'
To mark John Ashbery's seventieth birthday, Carcanet publish his first five books of poems in a single volume. Much of this work has never been published in full in Britain, most of it -- apart from poems included in his 1985 Selected Poems -- has been unavailable for years. To have the full text of The Tennis Court Oath (1962) alongside Some Trees (1956, selected by W.H.Auden for the Yale Younger Poets series, described by Frank O'Hara as `the most beautiful first book to appear in America since Wallace Stevens' Harmonium), shows just how rapidly, and with what authority, Ashbery found his own way. Rivers and Mountains (1966), The Double Dream of Spring (1970, with which British readers first made his acquaintance a couple of years later) and Three Poems (1972), one of his most innovative works, complete what is in effect the Collected Early Poems.
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