Humbly our old poets knew to make / wanderings into // homecomings of a sort—
- James Merrill - from “Losing The Marbles”
“But the reality, also, as this poem observed, is that such moments are always slipping away, and no sooner, in fact, than they have manifested themselves. So Ashbery’s poem moves on, and in no info on asks the central post-Romantic question (to which he will return in Three Poems) what is one to do with such moments of clarity once they have gone.” - David herd - Ashbery American poetry - pg109
“Ashbery himself has suggested a criterion by which to judge the success of his, or anybody’s poetry... ‘the ideal situation for the poet is to have the reader speak the poem, and how nice would it be for everybody if that could be the case.’ The logic of this ideal is clear. If the reader were able to speak the poem, the poet would have brought him or her to such a state of understanding, into such a satisfactory relation to the occasion, that the utterance appropriate to that occasion had become apparent to all concerned.” - David herd- Ashbery American poetry page 14
“but what this series of questions makes clear is that, given his sense of occasion, and Ashbery poem cannot proceed until it has prepared the reader for its own reception, until he or she has been brought to the brink of understanding.” - David herd - Ashbery and American Poetry - pg12-13
Trauma and Poetry- it’s always hard to know if the poem is flotation device or dunk tank. In reality, it’s probably both.