Wakefulness: Poems

by John Ashbery

Hardcover, 1998





Farrar Straus & Giroux (T) (1998), Edition: 1st, 79 pages


Progressive awakenings occur in all these verses. Each sense is engaged, and there is a search for epiphanies of the spirit, too. We are in history but also in the present - in buildings, churches, homes, trains, and cars; then back in the open pursuing the course to Baltimore and Bucharest, to the zoo and the park, to the past and the future. The digressions are wily, heartbreaking, or vertiginous. The clock ticks on, yet the tactics of survival and enhancement set forth in these poems invoke an ideal permanence.

User reviews

LibraryThing member realbigcat
I have a lot of good poetry books and I know the reputation and standing of John Ashbery. Donald Hall talks about him favorably in his memoir. However, I can just not get into these poems. Many of these poems to me are just a jumble of words. If there is a meaning it's so deep you could never find
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it. I honestly believe I could write a jumble of random thoughts and have a poem just as good as any in this book. Sorry but I don't get it.
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