By John Ashbery
A 1995 choice of poems that reveals John Ashbery at his so much conversational, humorous, and surprising.
In are you able to listen, fowl, John Ashbery's 17th assortment, language is either a plaything and a sandbox. The poems are prepared no longer within the order in their composition yet alphabetically, through the 1st letter of their titles, just like the smartly arrayed keys of a few awesome Seussical software. In line after line, Ashbery demonstrates his alertness to language because it is spoken, heard, broadcast, and dreamed—and units himself the duty of rewriting, redefining, and revising the yankee idiom we predict we all know so good. are you able to pay attention, fowl is a decisive instance of the uniquely Ashberyan sensibility his many lovers love, revealing a beneficiant and acute chronicler of the standard extraordinary, an observant and humane stand-up comedian, and an ear expert on deciphering our sleek world's beguiling polyphony.
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Extra resources for Can You Hear, Bird
Everyone’s solitude (and resulting promiscuity) perfumed the byways of villages we had thought civilized. I saw you waiting for a streetcar and pressed forward. Alas, you were only a child in armor. Now when ribald toasts sail round a table too fair laid out, why the consequences are only dust, disease and old age. Pleasant memories are just that. So I channel whatever into my contingency, a vein of mercury that keeps breaking out, higher up, more on time every time. Dirndls spotted with obsolete ﬂowers, worn in the city again, promote open discussion.
Say no to nothing is my credo and pocket veto. All joiners are smooth, low-bidders and incurable romantics alike. I’ll post the banns, send out invitations, polish toenails, describe moot situations to the skeptical. You rest the same. 53 A Small Table in the Street Less and less sightly, Lord! The cheap shots you sent us yesterday are back today in force, mouthing with precision whatever wisdom is printed on the wrapper’s verso. Let no one draw strength from that. Our climate turns its face toward the heights again.
Turns out many of our shared concerns are identical. But—and here she was emphatic— None of us knows the extent of the other’s capacity. Because of what ails the story his dreamaround became more dangerous. We went there. Think that all is not as we left it. And not dying for everything, Karsavina paused, shrugged, got on with it, got back on the bus, north until a few weeks ago. A collective European rhythm pierced the veil with sighs. Out of the dust rose a new Ritz de la Riviera. Why must it explode?