Can You Hear, Bird by John Ashbery

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A new collection by the major American poet presents more than a hundred works exhibiting the author's trademark skeptical edge, learning, and depth of spirit. By the author of And the Stars Were Shining.

About John Ashbery

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John Ashbery was born on July 28, 1927 in Rochester, New York. He was educated at Harvard and Columbia universities and studied in Europe on a Fulbright Scholarship. Initially wishing to be a painter, then a musician, he has had a variety of careers including reference librarian and art critic. In the early 1950s, he was a copywriter with Oxford University Press and McGraw-Hill. His collection of poems, Turandot and other Poems, published in 1953, established his reputation as one of the leading American poets of his generation. Ashbery feels strongly influenced by film and other art forms. The abstract expressionist movement in art had a profound effect on his writing style. Frequently termed a philosophical poet, Ashbery's poems often deal with the mind and the connection of the reader. Ashbery has published several volumes of poetry, including Houseboat Days and Flow Chart. Highly regarded by critics, he received a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, and a National Book Critics Circle Award in 1976, all for Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror. He received the Ambassador Book Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. He also writes under the pseudonym Jonas Berry.
Published November 1, 1995 by Farrar Straus & Giroux (T). 175 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Can You Hear, Bird

Publishers Weekly

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The talky voice that has been unflappably echoing American culture and crossing it with higher-tone concerns returns in a fullness of wry, observant wit. Ashbery (And the Stars Were Shining) is clearl

Oct 30 2000 | Read Full Review of Can You Hear, Bird: Poems

Publishers Weekly

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Ashbery (And the Stars Were Shining) is clearly uncomfortable with the academic industry that has grown up around him: many of these poems directly address readers, critics and would-be biographers: ``suppose this poem were about you--would you/ put in the things I've carefully left out'' he asks...

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London Review of Books

That phrase ‘the shield of a greeting’ is at once an image of defence and a defensive image, loosely aligning the poem with similar images, from Satan’s shield in Paradise Lost (‘Hung on his shoulders like the Moon, whose Orb/Through Optic Glass the Tuscan Artist views’) through to Auden’s ‘The S...

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