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The Parthian Stations

John Ash

The Parthian Stations by John Ash
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Categories: 21st Century, British, LGBTQ+
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (106 pages)
(Pub. Apr 2007)
9781857548723
£9.95 £8.96
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  • At Khirab Shems
    a dark, handsome man danced
    above the arches of a church.

    I was possessed by
    a contradictory nostalgia
    for things I had never known,
    for emptiness: the recesses of Bamiyan

                               from 'Recess'
    The document known as 'The Parthian Stations' is an account of the overland route from Antioch to the borders of India in the first century BC. John Ash's own Parthian Stations begins with his departure from New York to Istanbul. It is a journey, as he writes, not so much between contrasting cities as 'between different / versions of the same city', to a place that is exotic and familiar, spanning West and East, past and present, where cultures and histories intersect. It holds memories and encounters: time dissolves, but it is also vividly real, with buses, restaurants and meetings with friends. Precise, witty and unpredictable, John Ash writes as the watchful outsider, with the insights of a resident. The Parthian Stations continues his exploration of what it means to be a part of a culture, to celebrate what is loved and ultimately unknowable.
    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
    Praise for John Ash '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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