Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Other Traditions

Last month I quoted a paragraph from John Ashbery's Other Traditions. It's a very interesting book. Ashbery analyses the work of six poets, all of whom he says have had a major influence on his own writing. The six poets are John Clare, Thomas Lovell Beddoes, Raymond Roussel, John Wheelwright, Laura Riding, and David Schubert - a varied selection, to say the least.

Today I came across two articles in Ron Silliman's blog that discuss Ashbery's book and both make interesting reading, even (I think) if you haven't read the book.


Bill said...

Beddoes? Clare?

And here I just made a post to your thread at PFFA suggesting that he was imitating people like Stevens and Eliot.

The only Ashbery I own is "The Mooring of Starting Out", which contains his first five complete books of poetry. I think, despite my reservations about Ashbery, that I've hit that book more than any other over the past year or so.


Rob Mackenzie said...

I think he might be tongue-in-cheek about his influences, although there's no doubting his admiration for these poets.

Most Ashbery poems leave me cold. But there are some which I like, and the good ones tend to be very good.