Even as it invites us to discover the work of poets in Ashbery's "other tradition", it reminds us of Ashbery's essential place in our own.
- Paperback | 176 pages
- 127 x 187.96 x 12.7mm | 136.08g
- 01 Dec 2001
- HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Cambridge, Mass, United States
- New edition
- New edition
Other books in this series
11 Nov 2008
21 Jul 1998
02 May 2011
Deeply interesting in themselves, Ashbery's reflections on these poets are equally intriguing for what they tell us about Ashbery's own way of reading, writing, and thinking. With its indirect clues to his work and its generous and infectious appreciation of a remarkable group of poets, this book conveys the passion, delight, curiosity, and insight that underlie the art and craft of poetry for writer and reader alike. Even as it invites us to discover the work of poets in Ashbery's "other tradition", it reminds us of Ashbery's essential place in our own.
Back cover copy
"What then are we to do with a body of poetry whose author warns us that we have very little chance of understanding it? ... Why, misread it, of course, if it seems to merit reading ... This is what happens to any poetry: no poem can ever hope to produce the exact sensation in even one reader that the poet intended; all poetry is written with this understanding on the part of the poet and reader; if it can't stand the test of what Harold Bloom names 'misprision, ' then we leave it to pass on to something else".
"And why, anyway, should there be but one reading? Once after a poetry reading, I was asked one of those un-questions that people ask poets: 'Do you make up your ideas or do they just come to you?' I was so busy wishing I knew the answer that I forgot to ask why both couldn't be the case, and several other things as well. 'The Visitor' could as well be a parable of Eden, of Christ accepting the inevitability of martyrdom, or it could be only a story whose meaning is self-contained ... The central axis of ambiguity is Schubert's own".
About John Ashbery