Starred Review. The first half of a projected two-volume set, this major book, the first collection from Library of America by a living poet, offers a view of Ashbery's artistic development over many decades. Ashbery, now 80, is celebrated for his varied, often elliptical style, which, though verging on the incomprehensible at times, has consistently delighted readers and critics. This volume contains all of Ashbery's books up through 1987's April Galleons; it begins with the Yale Younger Poets Prize–winning Some Trees (1956), chosen by Auden, and includes Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (1975), which won all three major American book awards. Other notable inclusions are the complete text of The Vermont Notebook, with illustrations by Joe Brainard, and an ample group of uncollected poems. Watching Ashbery's art grow from the slippery romanticism and verbal hijinks of the early poems through the philosophical, if sideways, inquiry of the '70s, to the chattier, colloquial period inaugurated in the early '80s, is arresting. Though Ashbery has confounded and inspired in seemingly equal measure, he is, according to both his admirers and critics, the towering figure in contemporary American poetry. This volume follows on the heels of this past April's Notes from the Air: Collected Later Poems. (Oct).
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Since the death of Wallace Stevens in 1955, we have been in the Age of Ashbery.
Harold Bloom --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The book design and layout is fine. The poems require a lot of work. Many are incomprehensible.Published 7 months ago by Thomas Holmes
Perhaps I am wrong. I enjoy the SOUND of Ashbery. I enjoy his humor. he is skillful. But after reading most of this -- well, much of this -- I have decided he is a... Read morePublished 10 months ago by David Tooke
Simply because with Yves Bonnefoy John Ashbery is the best poet of the last 50 years. I met him in Italy about 15 years ago and I can' t forget those days. Read morePublished 16 months ago by pierangelo cesaretti
I bought this book on the strength of Ashbery's reputation, but cannot for the life of me understand why it is so high. Read morePublished on May 20, 2013 by Stephen Wessells
The poetry of John Ashbery has an undeserved reputation for being difficult. To help the uninitiated ENJOY his poetry I have devised this little multi-step program. Read morePublished on October 30, 2012 by Comment Man