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John Lawrence Ashbery (born July 28, 1927) is an American poet. He was also a prominent art critic. His art criticism has been collected in the 1989 volume Reported Sightings, Art Chronicles 1957-1987, edited by the poet David Bergman.
- There is the view that poetry should improve your life. I think people confuse it with the Salvation Army.
- International Herald Tribune (Paris, October 2, 1989) The Columbia World of Quotations, 1996.
- "Did I say that? One says so many things, and the problem is they all get written down."
- (In response to the question "Why do you call yourself anti-art?," Bard College, 2005)
Paris Review Interview (1983)
- Issue 90, interview with Peter Stitt
- It didn’t pay very much, but it enabled me to get other jobs doing art criticism, which I didn’t want to do very much, but as so often when you exhibit reluctance to do something, people think you must be very good at it. If I had set out to be an art critic, I might never have succeeded.
- When I originally started writing, I expected that probably very few people would read my poetry because in those days people didn’t read poetry much anyway.
- Well, there are certain stock words that I have found myself using a great deal. When I become aware of them, it is an alarm signal meaning I am falling back on something that has served in the past—it is a sign of not thinking at the present moment, not that there is anything intrinsically bad about certain words or phrases.
April Galleons (1987)
- In the beginning there are those who don't quite fit in
But are somehow okay. And then some morning
There are places that suddenly seem wonderful:
Weather and water seem wonderful,
And the peaceful night sky that arrives
In time to protect us, like a sword
Cutting the blue cloak of a prince.
- "A Snowball in Hell"
- These two guys in the front yard--
Are they here to help?