John Ashbery

Rookie (28 July 1927 / Rochester, New York)

John Ashbery
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John Lawrence Ashbery is an American poet. He has published more than twenty volumes of poetry and won nearly every major American award for poetry, including a Pulitzer Prize in 1976 for his collection Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror. But Ashbery's work still proves controversial. In an article on Elizabeth Bishop in his Selected Prose, he characterizes himself as having been described as "a harebrained, homegrown surrealist whose poetry defies even the rules and logic of Surrealism." Although renowned for the postmodern complexity and opacity of his work, Ashbery has stated that he wishes it to be accessible to as many people as possible, not a private ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''The disquieting muses again: what are "leftovers"?''
    John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "Business Personals."
  • ''Perhaps we ought to feel with more imagination.''
    John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "The Recent Past."
  • ''... the first step of the terrible journey toward feeling somebody should act, that ends in utter confusion and hopelessness, east of the sun and west of the moon.''
    John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "For John Clare."
  • If you need a certain vitality you can only supply it yourself, or there comes a point, anyway, when no one's actions but your own seem dramatically convincing and justifiable in the plot that the num...
    John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "The System."
  • It is the time we have now, and all our wasted time sinks into the sea and is swallowed up without a trace. The past is dust and ashes, and this incommensurably wide way leads to the pragmatic and kin...
    John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "The System."
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Comments about John Ashbery

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  • Rookie - 0 Points Sharon Parker (10/25/2014 4:04:00 PM)

    Mr. Ashbery forces the reader to change too many horses in the middle of an unending stream on order to get to the other side only to find it was the sound of the river that was the attraction rather than the substance of the opposite shore

  • Rookie - 0 Points Gk Thomas (11/17/2012 4:12:00 PM)

    These are the readable poems, but most of Ashberry isn't readable.
    I'm sorry, but if a poem can only be understood by the poet's explication then he needs to supply that explication along with the poem. Otherwise he/she is merely playing the effete. And who of us would not be considered a poetic genius if we, and we alone, are the sole authority of that meaning? Lazarus rose from the fire of the salad bowl/ consumed exquisite Orpheus/ to the knight's maiden ravished knot of hope. Who wrote this passage from a terribly long poem? A poetic genius or a hoaxer? Careful you might guess wrong.

  • Rookie Gilles Goyette (1/14/2012 8:09:00 AM)

    You change the way I read. You change my expectations of language. Always a challenge, but completely worth the effort.

  • Rookie - 14 Points p.a. noushad (10/24/2008 3:23:00 AM)

    beautiful your nerration is.

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