The Collected Poems of Barbara Guest by Barbara Guest

By Barbara Guest

The most remarkable individuals of the recent York School—and its best-known woman—Barbara visitor all started writing poetry within the Nineteen Fifties in corporation that incorporated John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, Frank O’Hara, and James Schuyler. And from the start, her perform positioned her on the forefront of yank writing. Guest’s poetry, saturated within the visible arts, prolonged the formal experiments of modernism, and performed the summary features of language opposed to its sensuousness and materiality. Now, for the 1st time, all of her released poems were introduced jointly in a single quantity, supplying readers and students extraordinary entry to Guest’s amazing visionary paintings. This accrued Poems strikes from her early ny tuition years via her extra summary later paintings, together with a few ultimate poems by no means prior to released. Switching without difficulty from the genuine to the dreamlike, the saw to the imagined, this can be poetry either mild and piercing—seemingly easy, yet actually and fantastically dislocating.

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The dark is mixed With wings. I ask if that house is real, If geese drink at the pond, if the goatherd takes To the mountain, if the couple love and sup, I cross the elemental stations from windy field to still close. Good night I go to my bed. This roof will hold me. Outside the gods survive. Les Réalités It’s raining today and I’m reading about pharmacies in Paris. Yesterday I took the autumn walk, known in May as lovers’ walk. Because I was overwhelmed by trees (the path from the playhouse leads into a grove and beyond are the gravestones), squirrels and new mold it is a good thing today to read about second-class pharmacies where mortar and plastic goods disturb death a little and life more.

Fleeting rivers, your robberies have paved our zones, you’re alive in our hearts as yesterday or tomorrow or the ghost ship from Athens plying its shuttered bark crying Zeus! Zeus! as it shatters this pier. People in Wartime Attilio, the minor Hun, Rose with the sun. Washed his face In a little grape And cried, This is I. This is one who would Conquer The fever And the world outside. With this he took a stride Across his hall bedroom, Faced the broken glass And into the mirror sighed, Such was I.

6 / THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST Why should I count you more equinoctal, sun? Smoothly the oars into the bay the ultramarine fast as a castle, or rock its soul plunged to craters virginal the rapid twist of spume to all-forgetting wrecks, intensely now that story’s done. Mermaids your hair is green. I recognize the powerful daylight heat. My savages a cooling torpor rearranges, as at its southern margins, the oak. ” In the broad strange light, a region of silences. The delphic clouded tree knows its decline, if you were to forget animosities, girls, and in the pagan grass slide heedlessly blossoms would return such songs as I’ve sung of you, the youthful ashes fling upward settling fragrant brightness on your dusky marquetry, All grey-haired my sisters this afternoon’s seraphicness is also fading.

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