John Ashbery

Literary Birthday – 28 July – John Ashbery


John Ashbery was born 28 July 1927 and died 3 September 2017

Nine Quotes

  1. Reading is a pleasure, but to finish reading, to come to the blank space at the end, is also a pleasure.
  2. Most reckless things are beautiful in some way, and recklessness is what makes experimental art beautiful, just as religions are beautiful because of the strong possibilities that they are founded on nothing.
  3. I feel that poetry is going on all the time inside, an underground stream.
  4. I always thought that writing poetry was in itself a political act.
  5. I write with experiences in mind, but I don’t write about them, I write out of them.
  6. My poetry imitates or reproduces the way knowledge or awareness come to me, which is by fits and starts and by indirection. I don’t think poetry arranged in neat patterns would reflect that situation. My poetry is disjunct, but then so is life.
  7. And so we turn the page over. To think of starting. This is all there is.
  8. There is the view that poetry should improve your life. I think people confuse it with the Salvation Army.
  9. Poetry is mostly hunches.

John Ashbery was an American poet. He published more than 20 volumes of poetry and won many major American awards for poetry, including a Pulitzer Prize for his collection Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror.

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by Amanda Patterson

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