A mesmerizing, endlessly entertaining collection that shows John Ashbery at his most exuberant, honest, and inviting
John Ashbery’s nineteenth original collection of poetry, first published in 2000, might be one of the “Ashberyest” of his long and varied career. In these poems, the slippery pronouns (who is speaking, who is being spoken to?), the high-low allusions (Daffy Duck, please meet Rimbaud), and the twists of context (where are we anyway, and what’s happening here?) that have long been hallmarks of Ashbery’s poetry are on full, rambunctious display. Beginning with the book’s very title, Ashbery invites the reader into the world of his poetry like never before; each poem can be read as a postcard to experiences that could be yours, his, or anyone’s.
And yet the poems in Your Name Here are also personal and particular. The collection is dedicated to an old friend, and in the well-known “History of My Life,” Ashbery strikes a rare autobiographical chord.
Some of the best-known poems of Ashbery’s later career are here, including “Not You Again,” “Crossroads in the Past,” and “They Don’t Just Go Away, Either.” Polyphonic, deeply honest, and frequently very funny, Your Name Here is both wonder filled and wonderful.