Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (Penguin poets)

by John Ashbery

Paperback, 1976





Penguin Books (1976), 83 pages


Revered as the greatest living American poet, John Ashbery is celebrated for his humour and versatility. This edition celebrates the 30th anniversary of the publication of this collection.

User reviews

LibraryThing member mermind
It took me a long time to read this entire small book, because it is so rich. It's sensuous, satirical, melodic, ironic all at the same time. When I look back on other five star books, I must say this better than most of them. I guess I run a little overenthusiastic. This book does not do that. It
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is profound in its restraint, at the same time, expressing a whole world.
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LibraryThing member librarianbryan
Title poem comes at the end decodes (relatively) the formal intentions of all the earlier ones. He's splitting the difference between lyricism and experimental form to the detriment of both.
LibraryThing member dawnpen
John with these things that are on the inside and they are so so. After all, he is the head of the epistemological revolution in American poetry (says T. Hoagland) and after all he was a truly truly queerified fellow with the art-part-ment to prove it and didn't he live in Paris for a while like a
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good little J.A. He's laughing at us for loving him. I just know he's holding these flowers and he gets it. He gets us this big peice of the cake and we nibble and nibble.
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LibraryThing member DanielSTJ
This collection of poetry was barely passable. I simply did not feel any sort of connection with each of the poems nor the overall images and themes that were being put forth. There was not enough in the poems to put me in the moment and ingrain themselves upon my psyche and consciousness. For this
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reason, I give it a lacklustre rating.

2 stars- not worth it.
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LibraryThing member b.masonjudy
As a newcomer to poetry I feel a sort of distance and ignorance that compels me not to use the rigid star rating system. I'm groping my way through poetry and it is still dark and feels quite squishy. That being said I did enjoy Ashbery's collection. The poem "Oleum Misericordiae" combines pulp
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fiction scenes abutted with religious language that I adore. I was pleasantly surprised with Ashbery's sense of humor, with levity and wit, and the way he manages to create new sensations, images, words, out of language that is sometimes quite common. Perhaps my poetry will reviews will get better, I doubt it, but I would recommend reading this collection or browsing through however you do your poetry.
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