John Ashbery (28 July 1927 / Rochester, New York)
''A novice was sitting on a corniceJohn Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "Illustration."
High over the city. Angels
Combined their prayers with those
Of the police, begging her to come off it.''
''As night returns bringing doubtsJohn Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "Spring Day."
That swarm around the sleeper's head
But are fended off with clubs and knives ...''
''Worry and brown deskJohn Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "Unusual Precautions."
Stain it by infusion. There aren't enough tags at the end,
And the grove is blind, blossoming, but we are too porous to hear it.''
''Man is never without woman, the neuter sexJohn Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "A Last World."
Casting up her equations, looks to her lord for loving kindness
For man smiles never at woman.''
''Much that is beautiful must be discardedJohn Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "Illustration."
So that we may resemble a taller
Impression of ourselves.''
''... with autumn falling over everything;John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "Street Musicians."
The plush leaves the chattels in barrels
Of an obscure family being evicted
Into the way it was, and is.''
''Sometimes a word will start it, likeJohn Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "Variant."
Hands and feet, sun and gloves. The way
Is fraught with danger, you say, and I
Notice the word "fraught"....''
''He gathers deedsJohn Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "A Long Novel."
In the pure air, the agent
Of their factual excesses.''
''There is the view that poetry should improve your life. I think people confuse it with the Salvation Army.''John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. International Herald Tribune (Paris, October 2, 1989).
''So I cradle this average violin that knowsJohn Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "Street Musicians."
Only forgotten showtunes, but argues
The possibility of free declamation anchored
To a dull refrain....''
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Daffy Duck In Hollywood
Something strange is creeping across me.
La Celestina has only to warble the first few bars
Of "I Thought about You" or something mellow from
Amadigi di Gaula for everything--a mint-condition can
Of Rumford's Baking Powder, a celluloid earring, Speedy
Gonzales, the latest from Helen Topping Miller's fertile
Escritoire, a sheaf of suggestive pix on greige, deckle-edged
Stock--to come clattering through the rainbow trellis
Where Pistachio Avenue rams the 2300 block of Highland