Chinese Whispers

John Ashbery

£9.95

We send all orders via Royal Mail: within the UK, choose from 1st Class, 2nd Class or Special Delivery; for the rest of the world, International Standard or International Tracked. Delivery and packaging charges are calculated automatically at the checkout.

To collect orders in person from the Bookshop, choose Click and Collect at the checkout.


Carcanet Press Ltd
31 October 2002
ISBN: 9781857546187
Paperback

From the publisher

You turn to your neighbour and cup your hand and say into his ear what you've heard. He does the same to a girl on his right. With each repetition the message gets a little further from the original intention. But as the intention recedes, the whispered phrases approach what they intend themselves. A poem, for instance, may start as a poet's statement. But a poem is less and more than an initial statement. It may start from a poet, but it doesn't finally belong to the poet. John Ashbery's new collection includes sixty-five poems. In each, a verbal nucleus, the original incitement to commit poetry, undergoes twists and modulations and arrives at a final, altered, form. The changes come about because the train of ideas proliferate, departing from the platform of a word or phrase. Each poem is a veritable Gard du Nord.