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Although Ashbery has said 'I do not think of myself as a gay poet', critics such as John Emil Vincent and John Shoptaw offer rea - Essay Example

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Although Ashbery has said 'I do not think of myself as a gay poet', critics such as John Emil Vincent and John Shoptaw offer readings that are guided by Ashbery's sexual orientation. To what extent is Ashbery, in your view, a 'gay poet'? Introduction John Ashbery has been renowned for his contribution to American literature especially poetry in English…
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Although Ashbery has said I do not think of myself as a gay poet, critics such as John Emil Vincent and John Shoptaw offer rea
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Download file to see previous pages Borrowing some elements form modernist poetry the poet has invented his own style keeping at par with the period he belonged. However the move of this great poet from the shadows to the limelight was quite sudden without giving any scope to the readers for deeper perception of his style. Though his style was simple and straightforward as declared by him, his poems raised puns and questions about the theme enfolded between the lines. His approach to poetry has often provided different scopes for interpretation form more than one angles. It is the aspect of hidden meaning which has raised the controversies against him amongst his critics and this relates essentially to the homosexuality and autobiographical content. Hence criticism of his work continued for the next decades till date and these works of criticisms have gained literary acclaim and worth overtime. some examples of such are “On the Outside Looking Out, by John Shoptaw, Five Temperaments, by David Kalstone, Beyond Amazement, edited by David Lehman, John Ashbery: Modern Critical Views, edited by Harold Bloom, The Tribe of John, Ashbery and Contemporary Poetry, edited by Susan Schultz, and John Ashbery and American Poetry, by David Herd” (Hilbert). The nature of his poems comprise of changes in tone, speaker and voice randomly. They often seem to lack integrity and each line cannot stand out independently. The themes are often combinations of abstract expressionism, deconstruction and contain cultural components. Looking at the scenario of American poetry John Ashbery has made huge fame and smoothly made himself a delicacy for the critics to discuss. It is often hard to classify him under categories like romantics, an “abstract thinker”, or a gay poet without any autobiographical indication. His compositions began to be difficult to interpret over the 80s and often have been disjunctive and irregular. Although Ashbery picks up conventional topics to approach in an unconventional manner, some of them are actually “funny” where he mocks the life of a surgeon and the attitudes of poets like Homer and others who slept while writing. He borrows from the works of other poets and incorporates them in his writing and “untraceable borrowings from the wild variety of ordinary speech, filled out with fleeting parodies of humble written forms: the family Christmas circular, the letter from a consumer, the office memo” (Hammer). Even the first person tone of his poems is distracted by quotations and other voices. The speakers of his poems are represented collectively. In his own words, “Research has shown that ballads were produced by all of society / working as a team” (in Hotel Lautreamont) (Hammer). He wrote some poems in pantoum form and some in haibun (prose poems). The phrases used by Ashbery in his poems lay stress on providing verbal pleasure and revelation. He progresses from one phase to another and if read between the lines, then some apparently haphazard lines might have deep moral implications. His work contains “languor and urgency”. He does not adhere to any fixed pattern or rule, rather concentrates on creating meaning with the pattern of the lines. The poet himself invites criticisms in his lines in ‘ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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