John Ashbery

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search
John Ashbery

John Lawrence Ashbery (July 28, 1927- September 3, 2017) was 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.


  • "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)[edit]

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)[edit]

  • 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?
    • "Gorboduc"

External links[edit]