Breezeway by John Ashbery

By John Ashbery

With greater than twenty poetry collections to his identify, John Ashbery is certainly one of our such a lot agile, philosophically complicated, and visionary poets. In Breezeway, Ashbery's powers of statement are at their so much astute; his perception at its such a lot penetrating. Demonstrating his notable command of language and his skill to maneuver fluidly and assuredly among wide-ranging ideas and ideas—from the irreverent and slyly funny to the gentle, the unhappy, and the heartbreaking—Ashbery indicates that he's a virtuoso fluent in various kinds and tones of language, from the chatty and eccentric to the lyrical and urbane. choked with allusions to literature and paintings, in addition to to the absurdities and delights of the standard international round us, Ashbery's poems are haunting, spectacular, hilarious, and understanding all of sudden, the paintings of a grasp craftsman with a prepared knowing of the age during which he lives and writes, an age whose fears and fragmentation he conjures and opinions with humor, pathos, and a provocative wit.

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Sample text

They say Abulafia could stop his heart with one letter. Alef lodged in his semi-lunar valve. Small e after breath is what I do to keep living. | 23 What Is Not Science Is Art Is Nature I am dreaming a hole right into the voice of God. Straight into the dark place where my children were made but can’t follow me back to. Right into the room whose windows are too high up to see out, though the sloped roof is too low for me to stand up. In New York snow is unusual, arrives like childhood memories that might not have happened, disappears without changing anything.

So, say it really happened. That doesn’t mean it will again or did. Or that the dream doesn’t make you ordinary. | 25 Freud Had Sex but Jung Had God I take water into my lungs in lieu of him, want for air, have none and not because a good wife rose up in me or a sharp right turn, bright discipline befell me: I wanted sugar and salt in equal measure one making the other desperate the now tasteless by turns desperate this was this wanting of course it was the kind of snow that never sticks—O blizzard!

Can’t find the . . look here, the light through the sycamores and dense magnolias live oaks tasked with spanish moss a veranda you reach through a twelve-foot window be real | 35 ∅ unnaturally light like a various gravity exhibit at a science museum my mother has a necklace made of severed reeds that seem to weigh less than air they look like bird teeth or shell splinters —Haiti? Australia? Peru? she can’t remember where she got it but the stones—emerald rough from Sri Lanka on the bookshelf near the kitchen; square, flat rock from Arizona on the mantle in the bedroom—those she knows by heart a life of picking things up and bringing them elsewhere 36 | ∅ here is the tree of my thirtieth birthday: a palm between two sycamores the pineapple-totem trunk is a woven present fronds rustling to offset loneliness squirrel feasts on hope | 37 ∅ alone, the room gets smaller despite there being fewer people the TV approaches like a hopeful lover let us, I say to myself, consider the children objectively, which is impossible: the boys who are babies create a slavish planet.

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