Where Shall I Wander

Where Shall I Wander

by John Ashbery

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Overview

A masterful collection from “the grand old man of American poetry” (New York Times)

You meant more than life to me. I lived through

you not knowing, not knowing I was living.

I learned that you called for me. I came to where

you were living, up a stair. There was no one there.

No one to appreciate me. The legality of it

upset a chair. Many times to celebrate

we were called together and where

we had been there was nothing there,

nothing that is anywhere. We passed obliquely,

leaving no stare. When the sun was done muttering,

in an optimistic way, it was time to leave that there.

 

—from “The New Higher”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060765309
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/14/2006
Pages: 96
Sales rank: 1,206,199
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.24(d)

About the Author

John Ashbery was born in Rochester, New York, in 1927. He wrote more than twenty books of poetry, including Quick Question; Planisphere; Notes from the Air; A Worldly Country; Where Shall I Wander; and Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror, which received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the National Book Award. The winner of many prizes and awards, both nationally and internationally, he received the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation in 2011 and a National Humanities Medal, presented by President Obama at the White House, in 2012. Ashbery died in September 2017 at the age of ninety.

Read an Excerpt

Where Shall I Wander
New Poems

O Fortuna

Good luck! Best wishes! The best of luck!
The very best! Godspeed! God bless you!
Peace be with you!
May your shadow never be less!
We can see through to the other side,
you see. It's your problem, we know,
but I can't help feeling a little envious.
What if darkness became unhinged right now?
Boomingly, swimmingly one remounts the current.
Here is where the shade was, the suggestion of flowers,
and peace, in another place.
Our competition is like tools of a certain order.
No one would have found them useful at first.
It wasn't until a real emergency arose, that someone
had the sense to recognize for what it was.
All hell didn't break loose, it was like a rising psalm
materializing like snow on an unseen mountain.
All that was underfoot was good, but lost.

Where Shall I Wander
New Poems
. Copyright © by John Ashbery. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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