Collected Poems, 1991-2000

Collected Poems, 1991-2000

Book - 2017
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To celebrate John Ashbery?s ninetieth birthday, the Library of America presents the second volume of his collected poems, spanning a crucial and prolific decade in the poet?s life and work. Having received wide acclaim and numerous awards over the first half of his career, in the 1990s Ashbery continued to strike out in new directions, writing in a style that is at once playful and cerebral, relaxed and precise, dreamlike in its imagery and associations yet exquisitely attuned to the everyday rythyms of American speech. This volume opens with one of Ashbery?s indispensable works, the book-length poem Flow Chart (1991), here for the first time in a complete text that restores 38 lines inadvertently omitted from all previous editions. Weaving a spell through its long lines, which unfold in mesmerizing and unexpected ways, Flow Chart offers an account of the poet?s mind that complements Ashbery?s earlier Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror . It also provides a vision of the collective "dream of everyday life that was our / beginning, and where we still live, out in the open, under clouds stacked up in a holding pattern / like pictures in a nineteenth-century museum."


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