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Selected Poems

John Ash

Cover Picture of Selected Poems
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Categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, British, LGBTQ+
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (180 pages)
(Pub. Nov 1998)
£12.99 £11.69
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  • The morning was clear
    And I could have wished the taxi ride
    From the airport longer, a week
    Of that comfort and postponement
    Would not have been too much.
    I did not know what to do
    When my mother opened the door.
    She was a worn curtain.
    She was a Trojan heroine.
    The sky resembled a still lake surface.
    The roses were bright but ended early.
    This is the ending of the year.
    Cities surround us, they shimmer
    Under different names.
    My mother's hair has not turned white.
    The roses were bright but ended early.

    from 'The Burnt Pages'

    Writing of his fourth collection in the same review, Richard Tillinghast said: 'John Ash is a greatly gifted poet who moves easily from the hieratic to the demotic.' And John Ashbery has spoken of his poetry as 'resonant with gorgeous imagery that distracts one from the super-lucid, rational argument that quietly continues to assert itself. It seems both familiar and strange, noble and funny, romantic and level-headed.' Among contemporary British poets he is distinguished for his wit, his formal and thematic ambition, and his Byzantine range.
    JOHN ASH was born in Manchester in 1948 and read English at the University of Birmingham. He lived for a year in Cyprus, and in Manchester between 1970 and 1985, before moving to New York. Since 1996 he has lived in Istanbul. His poetry has appeared in many publications including the ... read more
    'A little querulous, perhaps? Never mind. This may be the most auspicious debut of its kind since Auden's.'
    Carolyn Kizer
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