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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They are sun motes. Big, but not coarse, merely on another scale, Like a dozing whale on the sea bottom In relation to the tiny, self-important ship On the surface. This wind brings what it knows not, is Self–propelled, blind, has no notion Of itself.

Poetry, maybe more than any other literary form, is so subjective. Do you want to do that again, or is that something you wanted to do just one time? Contemporary Poetry Series Ashbery, John: Get to Know Us. But the summer Was well along, not yet past the mid-point But full and dark with the promise of that fullness, That time when one can no longer wander away And even the least attentive fall silent To watch the thing that is prepared to happen.

What we need now is this unlikely Challenger pounding on the gates of an amazed Castle. In the end, Ashbery’s stance, which seemed contentious at the onset of the poem, positing chaos against order, now appears to be ambiguous. While Ashbery is certainly an interesting writer, I’m afraid I find his work curiously lacking in affect. Commenting on the distorting effect of the convex mirror in Parmigianino’s painting, Ashbery studies the size of the artist’s hand.

Surely that would solve everything by supplying A theory of knowledge on a scale with the gigantic Bits and pieces of k If the first or last poem doesn’t touch some pink, squishy area inside of you, you may be dead.

Also, I must confess that I found the short poems in the volume much more engaging than the long, title poem.

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

There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Although I appreciate the greater simplicity of his earlier work, and the great, convoluted anguish of his middle work, it is the vision of his later work that engages me most.

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You seem to possess within your work an air of total freedom of expression and imagery, somewhat interesting and puzzling. The book, especially the lengthy concluding poem for cknvex it is named, solidified Ashbery’s reputation as a major American poet and remains his most widely-read work. It’s both beautiful and, for me at least, utterly meaningle My second “Ashbury,” and things are going along the lines of the first “Houseboat Days”.

Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror

I just couldn’t stick with it. Thanks for telling us about the problem. 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: A peculiar slant Of memory that intrudes on the dreaming model In the silence of the studio as he considers Lifting the pencil to the self-portrait.

Wshbery haven’t responded to poetry in this way in so long!

Though written all in free verse, he eschews 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.

Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror belongs primarily to his middle period. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Jhon Book Click Image to Order. My classes are really on a sort self-porttait low conversational level.

I don’t really know how it works although it does seem to work. Turning his attention back to the painting, he questions the artist’s ability to capture such things as time, and ideas. The artist’s own self-involvement has led to its isolation, Ashbery seems to be saying, whereas his own work of art, the poem, seeks to use art to identify connection, to the world, to reality, to a consciousness of the present moment.

We have seen the city; it is the gibbous Mirrored mohn of an insect.

Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror – Wikipedia

Byrne brings to life an old family farm gone fallow, a visit to an inn where the speaker spent his honeymoon, and Lester Young playing tenor sax. The shadow of the city injects its own Urgency: He additionally worked as an art critic for both New York Magazine and Newsweek. Want to Read saving…. This might be a good way for other readers to approach the book. It happened while you were inside, asleep, And there is no reason why you should have Been awake for it, except that the day Is ending and it will be hard for you To get to sleep tonight, at least until late.


You read lines like: Ashbery’s explorations transcend a literary analysis of self-reflexivity and extend into philosophical territory. It takes several reads of each poem to learn how to follow its threads, but Ashbery must have known that, because the collection’s sequencing, moving from shorter poems and building to the longer ones, helps the reader find entry into each piece. It reminds me of the line in Nabokov’s Lolita where Humbert is talking about the long string of hotels he and Lolita pass through, and he uses this french term–uses it with a nod to Flaubert–“nous connumes” or something which he translates as “We came to know” as in We came to kno Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror is def my favorite poem.

Seduced by flowers, Explicit pleasures, he blames himself though Secretly satisfied with the resultimagining He had a say in the matter and exercised An option of which he was hardly conscious, Unaware that necessity circumvents such resolutions.

Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror |

To see what your friends ashnery of this book, please sign up. Sep 25, Michael rated it it was ok Shelves: Edward, thank you for sharing your reflections and memories among your comments regarding Ashbery’s ‘Self-Portrait’. Read reviews that mention title poem poems poetry sense ashberry collection poet encountered important meaning art confusion john poets pulitzer stick.

One may view art as a fictitious substitute, though a valuable representation, for actual experience. Also, Ashbery’s poem Girls on the Run was inspired by and reproduces an image on mkrror cover by the outsider artist Henry Darger, whose life story is fascinating, disturbing, tragic. The balloon pops, the attention Turns dully away.

Too bad, I mean, that getting to know A tough but very rewarding collection of excellent poems on the slipperiness of reality, our inability to ever grasp it, and the way it elides comprehension even ashberu the very moment of perception. Today has no margins, the event arrives Flush with its edges, is of the same substance, Indistinguishable.