John Ashbery Quotes

But it is the same thing we are all seeing, Our world. Go after it, Go get it boy, says the man holding the stick. Eat, says the hunger, and we plunge blindly in again, Into the chamber behind the thought.
John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "A Tone Poem."
(26) (12)
I am not offended that these creatures (that's the word) Of my imagination seem to hold me in such light esteem, Pay so little heed to me. It's part of a complicated Flirtation routine, anyhow, no doubt.
John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "Mixed Feelings."
(23) (8)
Although I mean it, and project the meaning As hard as I can into its brushed-metal surface, It cannot, in this deteriorating climate, pick up Where I leave off.
John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "The Ice-Cream Wars."
(17) (3)
Yet the landscape, those billboards, age as rapidly as before.
John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "A Tone Poem."
(14) (4)
The first year was like icing. Then the cake started to show through.
John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "More Pleasant Adventures."
(8) (0)
And the truth becomes a hole, something one has always known, A heaviness in the trees, and no one can say Where it comes from, or how long it will stay A randomness, a darkness of one's own.
John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "The Ice-Cream Wars."
(5) (1)
I shall return in the dark and be seen, Be led to my own room by well-intentioned hands, Placed in a box with a lid whose underside is dark So as to grow....
John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "At the Inn."
(2) (3)
Then there is confusion Even out of happiness, like a smoke The words get heavy, some topple over, you break others. And outlines disappear once again.
John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "More Pleasant Adventures."
(4) (1)
As I sit looking out of a window of the building I wish I did not have to write the instructional manual on the uses of a new metal. I look down into the street and see people, each walking with an inner peace, And envy them—they are so far away from me! Not one of them has to worry about getting out this manual on schedule
John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic, novelist. The Instruction Manual (l. 1-5). . . Selected Poems [John Ashbery]. (1986) Penguin Books.
(2) (1)
So, laying his cheek against the dresser's wooden one, He died making up stories, the ones Not every child wanted to listen to.
John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "At the Inn."
(3) (1)