Subscribe: by Email | in Reader

The Ecclesiast -- John Ashbery

Guest poem sent in by Matthew Brooks
(Poem #1425) The Ecclesiast
 "Worse than the sunflower," she had said.
 But the new dimension of truth had only recently
 Burst in on us. Now it was to be condemned.
 And in vagrant shadow her mothball truth is eaten.
 In cool, like-it-or-not shadow the humdrum is consumed.
 Tired housewives begat it some decades ago,
 A small piece of truth that is it was honey to the lips
 Was also millions of miles from filling the place reserved for it.
 You see how honey crumbles your universe
 Which seems like an institution – how many walls?

 Then everything, in her belief, was to be submerged
 And soon. There was no life you could live out to its end
 And no attitude which, in the end, would save you.
 The monkish and the frivolous alike were to be trapped
             in death's capacious claw
 But listen while I tell you about the wallpaper –
 There was a key to everything in that oak forest
 But a sad one. Ever since childhood there
 Has been this special meaning to everything.
 You smile at your friend's joke, but only later, through tears.

 For the shoe pinches, even though it fits perfectly.
 Apples were made to be gathered, also the whole host of the
             world’s ailments and troubles.
 There is no time like the present for giving in to this temptation.
 Once the harvest is in and the animals put away for the winter
 To stand at the uncomprehending window cultivating the desert
 With salt tears which will never do anyone any good.
 My dearest I am as a galleon on salt billows.
 Perfume my head with forgetting all around me.

 For some day these projects will return.
 The funereal voyage over ice-strewn seas is ended.
 You wake up forgetting. Already
 Daylight shakes you in the yard.
 The hands remain empty. They are constructing an osier basket
 Just now, and across the sunlight darkness is taking root anew
 In intense activity. You shall never have seen it just this way
 And that is to be your one reward.

 Fine vapors escape from whatever is doing the living.
 The night is cold and delicate and full of angels
 Pounding down the living. The factories are all lit up,
 The chime goes unheard.
 We are together at last, though far apart.
-- John Ashbery
While I have known of John Ashbery for some time (I love "The Instruction
Manual"), I confess that I sought out this poem because the last stanza is
quoted in Philip Pullman's novel "The Amber Spyglass," the last book in the
trilogy "His Dark Materials."

I had to read this poem a few times before I started to grasp its
self-contained reality - a quality I both like and resist. I like the shift
in narration - at first it is addressed to a generic reader and later to an
intimate "you," the "my dearest" of the poem. More than that, I like the
epic scale of this poem; it focuses on solitary, subtle emotional changes
and moments against a landscape of seas, years, voyages, angels, dreams, and
death. I still struggle with some of what must be Ashbery's private
meanings, but I find new things in this poem whenever I read it. I am not
sure if I love it, but I love the journey it takes me on -- it is chastening
in the best, most sacred sense, and the last line reconciles so much.


68 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you, and found this because as I'm reading The Amber Spyglass for the hundredth time, I figured I may as well finally look up the beautiful poetry he quotes (I've been meaning to do so for a long time ;D). Nice to see someone else has the same idea.. although a very long time ago. Your analysis of Ashbery's poem is.. resonating, I suppose. So thanks (:

Viagra Online said...

How can I do to become and excellent poet?, or at least writing good poems because I like to read them but it's hard to me creating them.

Invertir en oro said...

Hello friend, I read your post and it seems very interesting, I wish we were in touch, too,

can visit my site

Inversiones en petroleo said...

Hello. I would like to congratulate you for the post, is very good, also I like a lot of

reading and researching topics related to your post

inversiones en oro said...

hello, this post is amazing, i would like to read more about it, because think that this information is very interesting.

Anonymous said...

I too came to it from His Dark Materials. A little disappointing to be honest, this is not my sort of poetry, yet the final stanza is still haunting.

Anonymous said...

I loved as much as you'll receive carried out right here.
The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish.
nonetheless, you command get got an edginess over that you wish be delivering the following.
unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as
exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase.

Here is my blog; evansville roof repair ()

Anonymous said...

After looking over a few of the blog articles on your web site, I seriously appreciate your way of blogging.

I book marked iit to mmy bookmark site list and will be checking back in the near future.
Please visit my website as well and tell me what yoou think.

my website :: sbobet online

Thach Nguyen said...

Cung cấp thực phẩm chức năng bổ trợ sức khỏe cho người dùng hiệu quả nhất tại muathuoctot. Những mặt hàng ví dụ như: kem chống rạn da stretch mark
kẹo cai thuốc kirkland gum
thuốc dhea
thuốc điều trị bệnh sỏi thận
thuốc chống ung thư
thuốc nở ngực an toàn

Định Trình Chương said...

Bài viết rất là hay, đọc rất thú vị, cám ơn bạn đã chia sẽ, cố gắng làm them vài blog hay nữa để mình vào xem nha. Hãy ghé thăm thẩm mỹ viện của mình 
Nơi cung cấp dịch vụ trị rạn da sau khi sinh:
Tư vấn và CSKH(24/7): 01686881868
Địa chỉ : 106 Trần Hưng Đạo, Q.1, Tp. Hồ Chí Minh
Điện Thoại: 08.38373977-38378865- 38378864
Xem chi tiêt : trị rạn da sau khi sinh
hoặc tri ran da sau khi sinh

Anonymous said...

jimmy choo outlet,

cheap jordans,

juicy couture,

juicy couture outlet,


kate spade outlet online,

louis vuitton outlet online,

michael kors purses,

michael kors handbags clearance,

michael kors outlet online sale,

michael kors,

michael kors outlet online sale,

north face outlet,

oakley outlet,

pandora charms,

prada outlet,

prada shoes for men,


Michael Syaukas said...

Nice Post, Thanks for your very useful information... I will bookmark for next reference

zarena cantik said...

perfect perfect fried rice, good post for the beginners as well..Super Prema, loved the presentation very much
Selaput Dara Buatan
Vimax asli Canada
Obat Perangsang
viagra usa
Bio Slim Herbal
Boneka Full Body
vimax canada

Obat Herbal said...

Seberat apapun beban masalah yang kamu hadapi saat ini, percayalah bahwa semua itu tidak pernah melebihi batas kemampuan kamu.

herbaldenature said...

Bagi kalian yang ingin mendapatkan cara mengobati benjolan wasir secara alami dengan Ambejoss dan Salwa serta sedang sibuk menjalani aktifitas sehari-hari kalian bisa memesan langsung melalui via telfon, WA atau BBM kami. Akan tetapi, kalian harus berhati-hati karena sekarang ini banyak yang menjual produk-produk kesehatan palsu. Kalian harus benar-benar memastikan bahwa produk obat herbal Ambejoss dan Salwa benar-benar asli dari denature dan berkhasiat menyembuhkan sakit wasir sehingga kalian tidak terganggu kembali dalam menjalani aktifitas kehidupan sehari-hari silahkan kunjungi website kami

Obat kutil di kemaluan InsyaAllah efektif karena, Jika penyakit ini terus dibiarkan maka gejala juga akan terasa menyakitkan. Mengenai proses munculnya, kutil pada pria ini bisa hadir dalam bentuk datar atau berukuran besar dan berkelompok. Ciri yang paling umum dari kutil kelamin ini adalah bentuknya yang menyerupai kembang kol. untuk cara pemesanana silahkan kunjung

obat kemaluan keluar nanahDan kondisi ini dapat semakin parah dan kemudian menimbulkan berbagai macam komplikasi seperti peradangan sendi dan infeksi jantung. Hal yang seperti ini dapat dicegah dengan mengenali gejala awalnya, sehingga penyakit ini tidak bertambah parah. untuk cara pemesanana silahkan kunjungartikel kami

Post a Comment