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Where Shall I Wander
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Where Shall I Wander

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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  238 ratings  ·  13 reviews
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
...more
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by Ecco (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 373)
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Cari  Caldwell
There is really not much you could say about John Ashbery except he has to be read to be believed. Where? indeed......
Robert
One of my favorite poets. Such beautiful language that seems so casual, almost effortless.
Irena
i can't believe it took me this long to find him. each poem reads like a familiar preoccupation.
Phil
Asbery is an American treasure that will stand as a giant in 20th and 21st century poetry
Richard Smith
Ashbery’s Where Shall I Wander exhibits a contrast between poetry and prose similar to his book A Wave. The book is filled with diverse poems, both in form and in content, but the Ashbery voice is apparent in all of them. Some poems have short lines, some have long lines, some are written in prose. Some are incredibly short with one seven line stanza, and others go on for four or five pages. This diversity helps to keep the book interesting and engaging, and also shows Ashbery’s skill in driving ...more
T.
Jun 18, 2010 T. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
The New Higher is very dear to my heart. I would've bought this book even for just this poem alone.

Written April 12, 2008:

It is three in the afternoon. I take a photo of a window and the curtain parting the sunlight.

The New Higher
John Ashbery

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 time
...more
Taylor
I'm not sure that I'm much of a poetry reader. Sure, I was an English major in college and, sure, I went through the regular rigamarole of basic poetry study. Heck, I even wrote a couple of poems myself in a creative writing course. But I don't think any of that helped me when trying to tackle this Ashbery collection. I should note that it didn't help to read things like: "No figure looms so large in American poetry over the past 50 years as John Ashbery." Langdom Hammer said that and I don't kn ...more
Chris Lilly


"Difficult" is a different thing from "incomprehensible, I know that, and Ashbery has a reputation that makes me reluctant to say bad things about this collection, but... I don't get it. Seems like word-salad, some nice effects, some pleasing music, but really, really inconsequential. My first Ashbery collection, I've read isolated poems in anthologies previously, and so many people say he's wonderful and important that I won't judge him on one book, but I'm not enthused. And I really like Geof
...more
Liam
Jul 13, 2010 Liam rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
Most poems from John trouble me so that I can't make out what they're about. Some make good sense, but those that don't I gloss over twice and read closely, then realize this one or that one wasn't meant for my understanding.
Sarah
A strong Ashbery book, even if it is not among my favorites. As always, the sharp resonance that comes from crystal clear and startling imagery is on display, and his lines are a pleasure to read aloud.
Hai-Dang Phan
Chasing the old Ashbery bunny in imaginary gardens, learn to relinquish any hope of catching it in your fumbling hands, take refuge where you can, and found pleasure.
Ron
This time Ashbery left me a little flat. Didn't like it as much as I did Chinese Whispers (the last of his books that I read).
Meg
Jan 18, 2008 Meg rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
Wasn't exactly what I dreamed it would be, but, you know, it's Ashbery.
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John Ashbery was born in Rochester, New York, in 1927. He earned degrees from Harvard and Columbia, and he traveled as a Fulbright Scholar to France in 1955. Best known as a poet, he has published more than twenty collections, most recently A Worldly Country (Ecco, 2007). His Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (Viking, 1975) won the three major American prizes: the Pulitzer, the National Book Award, ...more
More about John Ashbery...
Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror Selected Poems The Tennis Court Oath The Mooring of Starting Out Girls on the Run

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“It was all as it had been,
except for the weight of the present,
that scuttled the pact we made with heaven.
In truth there was no cause for rejoicing,
nor need to turn around, either.
We were lost just by standing,
listening to the hum of wires overhead.”
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