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The New York Poets: an anthology
Edited by Mark Ford
ISBN: 978 1 857547 34 4
Categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, American, Anthologies
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: March 2004
216 x 135 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
"They Dream Only Of America"
They dream only of America
To be lost among the thirteen million pillars of grass:
"This honey is delicious
Though it burns the throat."
And hiding from darkness in barns
They can be grownups now
And the murderer's ash tray is more easily--
The lake a lilac cube.
He holds a key in his right hand.
"Please," he asked willingly.
He is thirty years old.
That was before
We could drive hundreds of miles
At night through dandelions.
When his headache grew worse we
Stopped at a wire filling station.
Now he cared only about signs.
Was the cigar a sign?
And what about the key?
He went slowly into the bedroom.
"I would not have broken my leg if I had not fallen
Against the living room table. What is it to be back
Beside the bed? There is nothing to do
For our liberation, except wait in the horror of it.
And I am lost without you."
For the first time, The New York Poets gathers in a single volume the best work of four extraordinary poets: Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, and James Schuyler. By the early 1950s all four were settled in Manhattan, collaborating, competing and encouraging each other's radical experiments with language and form. Much of their work reflects their participation in the creative energies of the New York art scene, 'the floods of paint', to quote James Schuyler, 'in whose crashing surf we all scramble'. Believing that anything could be material for a poem, they transformed American poetry with their irreverent wit and daring.
Mark Ford's anthology is an essential introduction to four poets whose work has influenced poetry around the world. It includes detailed background information and a substantial bibliography.
Table of Contents
Introduction - Mark Ford
Poem (At night Chinamen jump)
Poem (The eager note on my door said "Call me/)
Memorial Day 1950
A Pleasant Thought from Whitehead
Meditations in an Emergency
Poem (There I could never be a boy,)
To the Harbormaster
At the Old Place
To the Film Industry in Crisis
In Memory of My Feelings
A Step Away from Them
Why I Am Not a Painter
Poem Read at Joan Mitchell's
A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Island
To Gottfried Benn
The Day Lady Died
Adieu to Norman, Bon Jour to Joan and Jean-Paul
You Are Gorgeous and I'm Coming
Poem (Khrushchev is coming on the right day!)
Getting Up Ahead of Someone (Sun)
Poem (Lana Turner has collapsed!)
The Picture of Little J.A. in a Prospect of Flowers
"They Dream Only of America"
A Last World
These Lacustrine Cities
from The Skaters
Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape
Definition of Blue
The One Thing That Can Save America
Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror
Daffy Duck in Hollywood
As We Know
At North Farm
A Driftwood Altar
The History of My Life
You Were Wearing
Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams
The Simplicity of the Unknown Past
Days and Nights
1. The Invention of Poetry
2. The Stones of Time
3. The Secret
4. Out and In
5. Days and Nights
One Train May Hide Another
A Time Zone
May 24th or so
Buried at Springs
Empathy and New Year
An East Window on Elizabeth Street
A Gray Thought
To Frank O'Hara
Hymn to Life
Dining Out With Doug and Frank
The Payne Whitney Poems
Heather and Calendulas
En Route to Southampton
Faure's Second Piano Quartet
Index of First Lines
Index of Titles
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
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