John Ashbery Quotes

It is the blankness that follows gaiety, and Everyman must depart Out there into stranded night, for his destiny Is to return unfruitful out of the lightness That passing time evokes.
John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "The Task."
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All things seem mention of themselves And the names which stem from them branch out to other referents. Hugely, spring exists again.
John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "Grand Galop."
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Elegance has been halted for the duration And may not be resumed again.
John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "Something Similar."
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Therefore our legends always come around to seeming legendary, A path decorated with our comings and goings. Or so I've been told.
John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "The Vegetarians."
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The lies fall like flaxen threads from the skies All over America, and the fact that some of them are true of course Doesn't so much not matter as serve to justify The whole mad organizing force under the billows of correct delight.
John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "Grand Galop."
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So we may never Again feel fully confident of the stratagem that bore us And lived on a certain time after that. And it went away Little by little, as most things do. To profit By this mainstream is today's chore and adventure.
John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "Something Similar."
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Extreme patience and persistence are required, Yet everybody succeeds at this before being handed The surprise box lunch of the rest of his life.
John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "The Vegetarians."
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The custard is setting; meanwhile I not only have my own history to worry about But am forced to fret over insufficient details related to large Unfinished concepts that can never bring themselves to the point Of being, with or without my help, if any were forthcoming.
John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "Grand Galop."
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you and I Are suddenly what the trees try To tell us we are: That their merely being there Means something; that soon We may touch, love, explain.
John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "Some Trees."
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We too are somehow impossible, formed of so many different things, Too many to make sense to anybody. We straggle on as quotients, hard-to-combine Ingredients, and what continues Does so with our participation and consent.
John Ashbery (b. 1927), U.S. poet, critic. "The Wrong Kind of Insurance."
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