Written in a style often described as verbal expressionism, “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror” is the title poem in the collection for which John Ashbery won a. Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror: Poems (Penguin Poets) [John Ashbery] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. John Ashbery’s most renowned. John Ashberry won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror. Ashberry.

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Impossible now To restore those properties in the silver blur that is The record of what you accomplished by sitting down “With great art to copy all that you mirtor in the glass” So as to perfect and rule out the extraneous Forever. The Pop art movement has been seen alternately as a rejection of, or mirrpr expansion of, the modes of abstract expressionismwhich remained a prevalent style of New York artists in the s.

Many of O’Hara’s poems are written in the voice of this persona, a persona that the reader who is a hopeless romantic can easily relate to; this adds an element of heartwarming familiarity to O’Hara’s poetry, but it also limits his versatility somewhat.

If anyone can explain this book to me, I’m all ears. But your eyes proclaim That everything is surface. This is not a collection you can pick up and access quickly, but that’s its gift: But we know it cannot be sandwiched Between two adjacent moments, that its windings Lead nowhere except to further tributaries And that these empty themselves into a vague Sense of something that can never be known Even though it seems likely that each of us Knows what it is and is capable of Communicating it to the other.

No music, no humanity. By means of this critical meditation Ashbery so completely demystifies the traditional notions of self and representation that by the end of mitror poem Parmigianino’s convex painting is flattened and pushed back into the dead past; self-portraiture is stripped of authority and authenticity; and knowledge appears as no more than the random coalescence of fragments.

Still, Ashbery seems to be saying something authentic about the experience of being human–looking around at all the beauty, all the time, the most pedestrian obvious kind of beauty, the relentless surge of the physical world: It must join the segment of a circle, Roving convxe to the body of which it seems So unlikely a part, to fence in and shore up the face On which the effort of this condition reads Like a pinpoint of a smile, a spark Or star one is not sure of having seen As darkness resumes.


The surface is what’s there And nothing can exist except what’s there.

On John Ashbery’s Self-Portrait In A Convex Mirror – Elliptical Movements

Why be unhappy with this arrangement, since Dreams prolong us as they are absorbed? It may be that another life is stocked there In recesses no one knew of; that it, Not we, are the change; that we are in fact it If we could get back to it, relive some of the way It looked, turn our faces to the globe as it sets And still be coming out all right: I guess it’s true that great expectations lead to disappointments.

Ashbery’s poem exhibits similar tendencies, exploring both the shortcomings and the possibilities of art.

Is there anything To be serious about beyond this otherness That gets included in the most ordinary Forms of daily activity, changing everything Slightly and profoundly, and tearing the matter Of creation, any creation, not just artistic creation Out of our aelf, to install it on some monstrous, near Peak, too close to ignore, too far For one to intervene?

In these fragmentary perceptions, none of which make a complete sentence except for the last, Ashbery quickly sums up the painting’s features. But nothing is connected to anything. Can you stand it, Francesco? Retrieved December 31, from Encyclopedia. This wind brings what it knows not, is Self–propelled, blind, has no notion Of itself.

John Ashbery was born in Rochester, New York, in Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror, which expanded your readership, appears philosophically more continuous than some of your poems, in the sense of carrying an argument through to the end. My favorite poem pprtrait this book so far is “Lithuanian Dance Band,” possibly because the voice in it reminds me of the voice of Ashbery’s poet-friend Frank O’Hara, whom I love; however, there are many more echoes of T.

I’m not an Ashbery fan and don’t like his influence on contemporary poetry. You have slept in the sun Longer than the sphinx, and are none ashery wiser for it.

On John Ashbery’s Self-Portrait In A Convex Mirror

It did a lot for me though the assignments he selt weren’t really very interesting or provocative. Ashbery catalogs details of the portrait, the way the quality of the light ensures that Parmigianino’s face looks life-like, the way the curve of the mirror and its reflection is captured by the artist. This replaces the old VPR mailing list for notification of new issues. Notions about what constitutes art in the twenty-first century continue to shift.


This book details the power struggles between emperors and popes throughout the duration of the Holy Roman Empireproviding both a church history as well as a secular history of johnn time period. Learn more about citation portrwit Citation styles Encyclopedia. Though modern poetry still shows resistance to form and convention, there has also been a revival of poetry crafted with attention to meter, formal rhyme schemes, and traditional structures, an a movement described as New Formalism. Or put another way, it is in none of the above places, but ashberh exists apart from time and place in an uncharted region that is ultimately ineffable.

His legacy is the embedded radical surprise s in a poem. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia. Certainly the leisure to Indulge stately pastimes doesn’t, Any more.

And then he’ll come out of nowhere with a punch in t Poetry, maybe more than any other literary form, is so subjective. I think im the friends Who came to see me, of what yesterday Was like.

InAshbery was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study in France; he became an art critic and correspondent in Paris. Listening to him read, though, allows everything to settle around a single source, the voice, which – I think – may in fact be the “one xonvex the spaces lean on” in Plath’s phrase in his poetry. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

But what is this universe the porch of As it veers in and out, back and forth, Refusing to surround us and still the only Thing we can see? Srlf day we will try To do as many things as are possible And perhaps we shall succeed at a handful Of them, but miror will not have anything To do with what is promised today, our Landscape sweeping out from us to disappear On the horizon.

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