John Ashbery Selected Poems

Review From User :

The Ecclesiast is one of my favourite poems in this anthology. I first read it while studying Authorship and Intentionalism in my philosophy course on Aesthetics. Ashbery was the professor's favourite poet, and quickly became one of mine. His work is infinitely inexplicable, and I like that. It seemed to capture something niche about that period of my life that I wasn't able to fully articulate;  "You wake up forgetting."  I can't claim to have any idea what Ashbery was thinking about when he wrote this poem. All I know is that reading it felt like sitting in a calm sunrise during that split second when everything is quiet and the world seems to click into place and you're washed over with a near unprecedented clarity. "Tomorrow you'll weep - what of it"   There's this quality of confident nonchalance, and honestly,  I don't know if it exists in the words or if it's my own imposition, but it is soothing in an oddly existential way.

"There was a key to everything in that oak forrest
But a sad one. Ever since childhood there
Has been this special meaning to everything.
You smile at your friends joke, but only later, through tears."


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