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The Mooring of Starting Out

John Ashbery

Cover Picture of The Mooring of Starting Out
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This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
Hardback
ISBN: 978 1 857543 66 7
Categories: 20th Century, American, Art
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: November 1997
223 x 141 x 22 mm
420 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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  • 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.
    John Ashbery was born in Rochester, New York, in 1927. His books of poetry include Breezeway ; Quick Question ; Planisphere ; Notes from the Air: Selected Later Poems, which was awarded the 2008 International Griffin Poetry Prize; A Worldly Country ; Where Shall I Wander ; and Self-Portrait in ... read more
    Awards won by John Ashbery Winner, 1997  Gold Medal for Poetry Winner, 2001 Wallace Stevens Award Winner, 1995 Robert Frost Medal Winner, 1976 National Book Critics Circle Award (Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror) Winner, 1976 National Book Award (Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror) Winner, 1976 Pulitzer Award (Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror)
        'The Mooring of Starting Out is filled with illustrations glimpsed through luminous, funny, formidably intelligent and often heartbreaking poems.'
    Andrew Zawacki, 'A wave of music,' Times Literary Supplement, 12 June, 1998
    Praise for John Ashbery 'I'll keep returning to The Wave, knowing that each time I do, I'll connect with poems, and lines in poems, I haven't noticed before and recconect with those that have resonated already'
    Pam Thompson, The North
    'John Ashbery's final collection of poetry disguises itself well as a mid-career high. The energy and modernity of his strange little worlds tell nothing of his age.'
    Stand Magazine


      'More than a century after Arthur Rimbaud composed his Illuminations they are reborn in John Ashbery's magnificent translation. It is fitting that the major American poet since Hart Crane and Wallace Stevens should give us this noble version of the precursor of all three.'
    Harold Bloom
    'A fine collection of poems rooted in 21st-century America.'
    Robert McCrum, The Observer
      'More than a century after Arthur Rimbaud composed his Illuminations they are reborn in John Ashbery's magnificent translation. It is fitting that the major American poet since Hart Crane and Wallace Stevens should give us this noble version of the precursor of all three.'
    Harold Bloom
    'Quick Question, with the hushed intensity of its music and great lyric beauty, could only be Ashbery.'
    Ian Thomson, Financial Times
     The book invites the reader to poetic gluttony. It serves as a corrective to the monoglot provincialism by which the Anglophone world is still bedevilled.
    Sean O'Brien, Independent
     'The lyrics in Breezeway, a new collection by the octogenarian poet John Ashbery are as good as his finest. I especially like the final poem, poignantly reprising the last line of Keats' Ode to a Nightingale', "Do I wake or sleep?"'
    Salley Vickers, The Observer - The New Review, 29.11.2015.
      'John Ashbery's Collected Poems 1956-1987, edited by Mark Ford (Carcanet), was a book I found inexhaustible. Possibly the greatest living English-speaking poet and one of the most prolific, Ashbery takes language to its limits, so that words serve as pointers to shifting experiences that elude description. Containing his masterpiece 'Self-Portrait In A Convex Mirror', one of the most penetrating 20th-century meditations on what it means to be human, this collection succeeded in stirring my thoughts as well as delighting me.'
    John Gray The Guardian Books Of The Year 2010
       'The careering, centrifugal side of Girls on the Run is one of its most effective tools in creating its special ainbience of good-humoured menace ... Ashbery has made the slush of signification, the realm where words slip, slide, perish and decay, uniquely his own.'
    David Wheatley, Times Literary Supplement, 30 June, 2000
       'In his seventies John Ashbery offers a sprightly and energetic alternative. Instead of being sluggish he demands that the self must be even more alert, more vigilant, more attentive to the world around it, not indifferent to and weary of it. Alert, vigilant, attentive ... Wakefulness, the brilliantly evocative title of Ashbery's collection.'
    Stephen Matterson, 'The Capacious Art of Poetry,' Poetry Ireland Review 62, 114
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