Poetry News

John Ashbery's 'The Skaters' Now in a Critical and Genetic Digital Edition

By Harriet Staff

Original typescript to "The Skaters," page 1. Original typescript to "The Skaters," page 1.

There are many people to thank for bringing out this landmark edition of Ashbery's seminal poem "The Skaters" from his 1966 title Rivers and Mountains. We caught wind of it yesterday through Jacket2. What's in the package? This:

In its current state, this edition offers:

– a plain text version of the poem, with optional display of the lines and stanza numbers;

– the transcription of two typescript drafts of the poem, as well as 20 poems and fragments—18 of which are unpublished,—pertaining to the first typescript's dossier. The genetic dossier is displayed, with all variants, in four formats: HTML and XML-TEI, along high-resolution image files and searchable PDFs of the original pages;

– three annotated versions of the text: one showing “referential” data such as names, places, time markers, etc., the second the use of personal pronouns, and the third thematic data such as sounds, colors and weather notations throughout the text;

– a full searchable index, with links to the poem lines;

– a few elements of quantitative analysis, such as number of occurrences and frequencies for lexical items, etc.

Go now to check it all out!

Originally Published: June 7th, 2013