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John Ashbery

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Biography
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 charac ...
Popular Quotes
11 November 2014
... 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.
11 November 2014
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 number of your days concocts.
11 November 2014
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 kinetic future.
11 November 2014
Yes, in the long run there is something to be said for these shiftless days, each distilling its drop of poison until the cup is full; there is something to be said for them because there is no escaping them.
11 November 2014
There is the view that poetry should improve your life. I think people confuse it with the Salvation Army.

Comments

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0 0 Reply
Adrian Grant 31 January 2018
Wilfully obscure, rambling, unmusical, self-indulgent crap. No wonder he wrote so many collections. And no wonder he won so many prizes during the height of Modernism. This kind of stuff is catnip to literary critics and literature academics, because it would appear to require exegesis, thus promoting them into a kind of priesthood.
3 5 Reply
Lawrence Beck 25 November 2016
This man's work is garbage. He's obviously extremely lazy, and why not? Every dumb-ass critic in the country has decided that he's the greatest. Gee, I wonder why nobody reads poetry.
5 16 Reply
Raymond Farrell 19 December 2015
The atuff that has been posted on PH is readable although it is debateable what it means, but most of Ashbery's stuff makes me wonder if he isn't a mental case in search of a diagnosis.
4 7 Reply
Sharon Parker 25 October 2014
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
7 6 Reply
Gk Thomas 17 November 2012
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.
23 22 Reply
Gilles Goyette 14 January 2012
You change the way I read. You change my expectations of language. Always a challenge, but completely worth the effort.
21 7 Reply
p.a. noushad 24 October 2008
beautiful your nerration is.
14 10 Reply

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