John Ashbery

Rookie (28 July 1927 / Rochester, New York)

Self-Portrait In A Convex Mirror - Poem by John Ashbery

As Parmigianino did it, the right hand
Bigger than the head, thrust at the viewer
And swerving easily away, as though to protect
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Form: Ekphrastic

Comments about Self-Portrait In A Convex Mirror by John Ashbery

  • (10/16/2016 9:37:00 AM)

    Read Deep
    Comments are quite amusing here. One of the great postmodern poems, Ashbery's. An exploration of the self through the exploration of the self by another, a play on historical selves, on art, on how life engages us with others, on how we build our own sense of identity. Too bad readers have not read more. (Report) Reply

    5 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Spock The Vegan (9/16/2016 9:00:00 AM)

    Poem is way too long. I couldn't force myself to read more than the first verse, and even that made little sense. (Report) Reply

  • Nassy Fesharaki (9/13/2015 9:58:00 PM)

    The more we open our eyes...the more we see...the more we see the more we learn...the more we learn, the more we realize...I am nothing... (Report) Reply

  • Kim Barney (1/14/2015 7:51:00 PM)

    Amen to all the comments below except those by
    Sunprincess (a wonderful write - -did she really read the same poem?)
    and Michael Morgan (a masterpiece- -you really have to be kidding, Michael)
    (Report) Reply

  • (1/14/2015 7:11:00 AM)

    Meaningless, boring monologue which I suppose was intended to stay in beat. I'm different, I suppose. Flowery words with no meaning are not poetry in my opinion. I don't know why modern poetry took that turn. Example:

    'That no one else's taste is going to be
    Any help, and might as well be ignored.
    Once it seemed so perfect- gloss on the fine
    Freckled skin, lips moistened as though about to part
    Releasing speech, and the familiar look
    Of clothes and furniture that one forgets.'

    What on earth is this supposed to mean? That's rhetorical, btw - there is no contrived definition that could convince me that this even remotely resembles art - more so that the author might be suffering from extreme aphasia......
    (Report) Reply

    (11/15/2017 6:56:00 AM)

    Clear, simple (if read carefully) , and continually rewarding. I've been reading this poem on & off for 30 years and it never gets boring.

  • (1/14/2013 3:37:00 PM)

    a masterpiece. Thanks, John. MM (Report) Reply

  • (10/3/2009 1:03:00 PM)

    I'm not an Ashbery fan and don't like his influence on contemporary poetry. LIke Derrida, he's pompous and repetitious. No music, no humanity. Logorrehea of flowing, endless, discursive prose, chopped up into lines. I take this poem to be about the indeterminancy of art and an aping of that indeterminancy. If you pick up a thousand-year-old Chinese poem, often the humanity comes through as if it were written yesterday. Can you imagine another society picking this up a few hundred years from now? They're going to have a good laugh on us. (Report) Reply

  • (11/23/2004 6:31:00 PM)

    waayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy tooooo long (Report) Reply

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