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In the Wake of the Day

John Ash

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RRP: GBP 9.95
Available from: Amazon LogoBuy now from Amazon
eBook (Kindle)
ISBN: 978 1 847779 18 2
Categories: 21st Century
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: October 2010
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), Paperback, eBook (PDF)
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  • What are we to make of these fragments,
    These hisses and whispers? Who were
    These people who were buried in uncounted chambers
    Hacked into the sheer side of a precipice,
    Which in their extinct language, they called ‘round’,
    Which it was not, great wall of sorrow and forgetting.
    They were perhaps undistinguished by the standards
    Of their time, producing no poets or philosophers
    Whose names history has recorded, but they lived.

    from ‘Pinara’ 
    In the Wake of the Day is a book of memories and journeys; from the chaotic energy of urban life in modern Istanbul, where John Ash lives, to the ruins of vanished civilisations; from personal incident to the narratives and vacancies of cultures. Ash inhabits the fertile and ambiguous territory where East and West meet. We ‘know and do not know’ the past. In an ‘imperial city without empire, place of paradox’, time too becomes fluid. The ancient, half-imagined past of Ur, Alexandria, Cappadocia coexists with a contemporary world in which ‘tank tracks are driven over Babylon’.

    At the centre of this collection are John Ash’s versions of poems by the great Alexandrian C.P. Cavafy. Working with Cavafy’s voice, Ash expresses his own urbane intelligence.



    Cover photograph: Beyoğlu Street, Istanbul © Dan Auger Cover design StephenRaw.com
    Contents


    The Couple
    Olives
    Unasked For
    Finding Prostanna
    In Jean Dubuffet’s Crimson Landscape
    Babylon
    Tristia
    Near the Euphrates
    Impossible
    Poem: ‘I never really wanted…’
    Lines Written in a Hotel Room in Afyon
    The Cut
    Tramway
    Partial Explanation
    Practical Criticism
    Difficult
    The Towel of Alyattes
    The Result
    The Women of Kars (or Some Other Places I Know and
    Do Not Know)
    After Cavafy
    Without Memorial
    Fever of Kleitos
    The Battle of Magnesia
    Antiochus Epiphanes
    The Gods in their Wisdom
    In Ösroene
    Disillusionment of Demetrius Soter
    The Triumph of John Kantakouzenos
    Exiles
    A Byzantine Nobleman Writing in Exile
    In a Syrian Harbour
    The Bergamot Tree
    Pinara
    In the Wake of the Day
    Finding Prostanna (2)
    Two Poems with an Uncritical Apparatus
    Stations
    Prose for Ebubekir Akbulut
    The Antiochiad
    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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