John Ashbery Comments (7)

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.
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.
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.
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
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.
You change the way I read. You change my expectations of language. Always a challenge, but completely worth the effort.
beautiful your nerration is.