I am a Dek

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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The picture is almost finished, The surprise almost over, as when one looks out, Startled by a snowfall which even now is Ending in specks and sparkles of snow.

Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror – Wikipedia

To perceive a particular means grasping for only a second a “truth” that then vanishes into an imponderable generality. Dreams filter a truth that is just beyond our reach, and artists and poets further distill these ideas into artistic representations.

After I read one of your poems, I’m always tempted to read and reread it. Collections selected for discussion in this editor’s blog include distinguished works published in the last few years by small presses, university presses, or major publishing houses.

Once it seemed so perfect–gloss on the fine Freckled skin, lips moistened as though about to part Releasing speech, and the familiar look Of clothes and furniture that one forgets.

The objects of this intent in the poem include the soul, dreams, ideal forms, truth—all elements that by their very nature resist quantification, codification, or other methods of ordering; in this, resistance may be described as chaotic. Ashbery discusses the care with which Parmigianino captured the effects of the mirror’s rounded surface upon the artist’s reflection.

Particularly since Dana says that the first time she read this book — at my age — she sensed something very profound was happening but couldn’t get a handle on what it was. I have to admit, I have a hard time with Ashberry.

Since the mid-seventies, you’ve been teaching poetry.

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

A famous example is Warhol’s repetition, in garish colors, of wshbery silk-screened image of Marilyn Monroeor his detailed paintings of Campbell’s soup cans. The title poem opens with a comment on the distortive quality of art even in its lucidity. I’d start citing, but I’d probably transcribe the poem’s entirety.


But also Ashbery sizing up the same kind of moral question over and over a dozen times in the space of a poem, and with dozens of poems including the formidable and exhausting kind of index of ideas in the convexx poem it just wrung me utterly dry.

I couldn’t force myself to read more than the first verse, and even that made little sense. A look of glass stops you And you walk on shaken: Ashbery clearly came to know this work by Parmigianino until it became a channel revealing or reflecting things about life to the poet.

We have surprised him At work, but no, he has surprised us As he works.

The difficulty in recall with his work, for me, lies in the fact that Ashbery sequences images and thoughts in ways that foll Ugh, wonderful!

Florence, the center of artistic creation in the region at the time, lost its political independence in and was now under the rule of the Medici family. Too bad, I mean, that getting to know each just for a fleeting second Must be replaced by imperfect knowledge of the featureless whole, Like some pocket history of the world, so general As to constitute a sob or a wail unrelated To any attempt at definition.

This book has always been an inspiring one for me, I’ve used it for cut-ups for ages, because the lines are so intricately constructed. I could be completely wrong in my interpretation Dana says: Are there any kinds of long poems that you would like to write in the future? He accordingly caused a ball of wood to be made By a turner, and having divided it in half and Brought it to the size of the mirror, he set himself With great art to copy all that he saw in the sslf Chiefly his reflection, of which the portrait Is the reflection, of which the portfait Is the reflection once removed.

Once it seemed so perfect- gloss on the fine Freckled skin, lips moistened as though about to part Releasing speech, and the convfx look Of clothes and furniture that one forgets.


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

Coming back to his own perspective, Ashbery not only comments on his own response to Parmigianino’s painting, but discusses his creation of a poem about it. And the vase is always full Because there is only just so much room And it accommodates everything.

It is housed in the Kunsthistorisches MuseumViennaAustria. Through his interaction with the artwork, and his understanding of the possibilities of the reader’s reaction to his poem, Ashbery emphasizes both the isolating and connecting nature of art.

How many people came and stayed a certain time, Uttered light or dark speech that became part of you Like light behind windblown fog and sand, Filtered and influenced by it, until no part Remains that is surely you. I feel some trepidation. A touch of surrealism here, and a smidge of classicism there really add a dichotomy to this collection in which Ashbery paradoxically takes his reader to the center of things by continuously circumventing it.

A few leaded panes, old beams, Fur, pleated muslin, a coral ring run together In a movement supporting the face, which swims Toward and away like the hand Except that it is in repose.

The lines read more like free flowing seemingly disjointed thoughts building off one another than they do pretentious poetic contrivances.

Following the September 11,terrorist attacks, this effort at communal poetry was employed to create a traveling exhibition featuring poems of lines each, one line for each story of the World Trade Center towers destroyed in the attacks. Visitors with Twitter accounts ashvery encouraged to join Valpopoetry for daily updates.

The depths Ashbery reaches to deal with this artwork, though. Why can’t you Spend the night, here in my bed, with my arms wrapped tightly around you?