If I Were A Famous Modern American Poet...
You are John Ashbery. People love your work but
have no idea why, really. You are respected by
all kinds of scholars and poets. Even artists
Which Famous Modern American Poet Are You?
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C. Dale Young is right, this is hilarious. And scary.
Best review of my work came out in Scotch Gaellic and was published in a journal from Ireland. I was so proud of that piece once it was translated for me. It was the first critical piece, outside of that written by my homegirl dissertation grrls, to deal with my words on the page rather than what I represent ethnically, culturally, linguistically, ..., ad libertad. Change is the essence of freedom. And freedom to stand the same is the essence of positive change. The local and the public experience and struggle is assumed and subsumed within the context of lived contradiction. Leave it to the Gaels to stick the subtext where it goes. In no place did the words "Chicano," "Mexican American," "Latino," or "Hispanic" appear—in any form. It was the first piece to analyze my poetics and poetic strategies rather than merely interpret my meaning and intent based upon poems I wrote when I was 17-20 years old. I swear, this must be the only occupation whereby one is held to what one writes at age 19. The piece concluded by saying that the American poet I most resembled was John Ashbery. Something that makes perfect sense to me. Especially since at the time I was thinking a lot about Ashbery, how Al Young had described the poor translator in Russia attempting to translate John's poems from the early nineties on the spot, the puzzled, and only mildly troubled Soviet faces.
"My small self in that bank of flowers:
My head among the blazing phlox
Seemed a pale and gigantic fungus.
I had a hard stare, accepting
Everything, taking nothing.
~John Ashbery, from “The Picture of Little J.A in a Prospect of Flowers”
"From a very early age, Ashbery was shy, bookish, and intellectual." (....) "Ashbery seems to present himself here as a kind of distrustful outcast (...) a complicated mix of the gentle, the geeky and the learned."