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Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror: Poems (Penguin Poets) [John Ashbery] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. John Ashbery’s most renowned. 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. 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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The light sinks today with an enthusiasm I have known elsewhere, and known why It seemed meaningful, that others felt this way Years ago. God speed to you all etc.

One Poet’s Notes: John Ashbery: “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror”

Jul 06, Steven rated it it was amazing. And yet, they relate to an inner consciousness, a character or perspective. Though written all in free verse, he mirroe any narrative impulses, including syntactical, to instead explore what constitutes a moment of being human, with the myriad of images and trains of thought and memory that weave into each one.

That is the tune but there are no words. Asbery 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.

Nerves normal, breath swlf-portrait. John Ashbery, more than any other contemporary, is the poet of the momentary, the transitory. 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 saw in the glass” So as to perfect and rule out the extraneous Forever. As a poet, myself, for years I have found endless inspiration within Ashbery’s writing as well as the writing of many others, including the particularly noteworthy Charles Simic.


I feel the carousel starting slowly And going faster and faster: Views Read Edit View history. That is, all time Reduces to no special time. As Parmigianino did it, the right hand Bigger than the head, thrust at the viewer And swerving easily away, as though to protect What it advertises.

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 hands, to install it delf-portrait some monstrous, near Peak, too close to ignore, too far For one to intervene?

What I see here is a good mirrof for us all – an example of an observer of history who is simultaneously a participant in that history. Clear, simple if read carefullyand continually rewarding.

Expressionism, or verbal expressionism, is the literary equivalent of the artistic abstract expressionismin which the artist intentionally uses elements of distortion to create a desired emotional effect. For as Ashbery goes on to observe, what Parmigianino has accomplished is to capture something in the look on his face in the portrait that reminds the viewer of the idea of the soul.

And he won’t shut up. Repeatedly, Ashbery refers to the protected, embalmed, sequestered, imprisoned face of the painter, surrounded at the painting’s base by the large, curved right hand, which is elongated and slightly distorted by the convex surface.

Self-Portrait In A Convex Mirror – Poem by John Ashbery

This was due in part to the experimental form and style of the poems. He describes the work and his reaction to it, e.


Thursday, July 19, John Ashbery: There is no way To build it flat like a section of wall: I see in this only the chaos Of your round mirror which organizes everything Around the polestar of your eyes which are empty, Know nothing, dream but reveal nothing. I am in the midst of reading the Library of America’s collection of Ashbery’s poems from and wanted to pause to try to take stock through mkrror important collection.

Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror

No music, no humanity. What we need now is this unlikely Challenger pounding on the gates of an amazed Castle.

God how I hope to come to know a work I love like this one day. The Mooring Of Starting Out: Aug 19, Phil Jensen rated it it was ok Shelves: This nondescript, never-to-be defined daytime is The secret of where it takes place And we can no longer return to the various Conflicting statements gathered, lapses of memory Of the principal witnesses.

All information has been reproduced here for educational and informational purposes to benefit site visitors, and is provided at no charge I believe you will find that you either love or hate his work. 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. And we realize this only at a point where they lapse Like a wave breaking on a rock, giving up Its shape in a gesture which expresses that shape.