Download Chinese Whispers by John Ashbery PDF

By John Ashbery

The child’s online game chinese language Whispers, identified in the USA as phone, is an workout in reworking the recognizable into anything fantastically unusual. John Ashbery’s twenty-fourth choice of poems, chinese language Whispers, re-creates in each line the unintentionally transformative good judgment of the language video game for which the e-book is called. In sixty-three charged and infrequently very humorous poems, Ashbery confronts the relentlessness of age and time whereas demonstrating, in his unmistakable, self-reflexive kind, the method wherein a unmarried notion unravels, multiplies, distends, travels, and eventually arrives, replaced and unfamiliar.

First released in 2002, almost immediately after Ashbery’s seventy-fifth birthday, chinese language Whispers is a set within which fairy stories, mysteries, and magic dollhouses interleave without problems with the standard of pancakes and pop culture. Ashbery’s language is admittedly recognizable from glossy lifestyles because it is skilled, yet while is as dreamlike and disquieting as intercepted transmissions from one other international.

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Sample text

There is no pressure to raise her right, which is why she chews the furniture, pees on rugs, barks at strangers who cross the lawn. She is his responsible soul broken free. She is the children he couldn’t come home to made young again. She is like my mother but never angry, always devoted. He cooks for his dog— my father who raised us in restaurants— and takes her on business trips like a wife. Sometimes, sitting beside her in the hair-filled van he drives to make her more comfortable, my father’s dog turns her head to one side as if [17] thinking and, in this pose, more than one of us has mistaken her for a person.

Didn’t I care about the ones who had gone down before me? How could I tell her their black eyes were like packages I would never open? I wanted what I still want—an impossible history of the thing deeper than nudity or bone: a fingerprint of the voice of the soul. [43] SUMMER During colder months on that Carolina island we natives lived in neighborhoods of abandoned cottages: each one smelling of salt and scrubbed white by wind and sun. As a child I walked the silent streets, ocean breathing by my side, and imagined a different life for myself inside each empty house.

Birth is awful though, at the time, I claimed it wasn’t. I was confused: a girl too long at a cocktail party and told them, as I was being sewn shut, that the night reminded me of the flu. I felt embarrassed that such a thing had overtaken me, grateful it was over, heroic for denying myself their drugs. I was mad at the doctor for cutting me—even if it was for my own good, mad that they put me on my back to push: I felt defeated like that. Everyone spoke to my husband because he was smart and clothed and not ripped to pieces.

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