Saturday, September 19, 2009

John Ashbery at the NBCC

John Ashbery addressing the NBCC

What a perfect moment. It reminds me of why I adore his poetry as I do. He’s able to inhabit a moment in all of its contradictions and complexities. Completely rich. Here’s a snip:

“So once again thanks, national book critics, for letting me come full circle—that is to be here beaming my gratitude at you, both for what you’ve done for me personally, not just as regards poetry, but for all the things you write about. It seems inevitable that the more books there are, the less time one will have to keep up with them, which is why so many of us gorge on reviews. They give us the delicious feeling of having read something without spending the thousands of hours we need to really learn about it. They’re one of the essentials of daily life, along with naps, those much-maligned lattes, and Bill Moyers. Just keep on doing what you’re doing.”

Find the full texthere.

Ha! Anyway, in case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the cover of his new book, Planisphere. It’s due out on December first. It’ll be 160 pages long.


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