Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (Penguin poets)

by John Ashbery

Paperback, 1976






Penguin Books (1976), 83 pages


'Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror'was the first of John Ashbery's books to be published in Britain by Carcanet, and this is its third printing. Since it originally appeared here in 1977, three further collections have followed: 'As We Know', 'Shadow Train' and 'A Wave'. Book Award and the National Book Critics' Circle Award. The long title poem, a meditation on Parmigianino's famous self-portrait, has become Ashbery's best-known poem. It is accompanied here by a number of shorter pieces - playful, witty, elusive.

User reviews

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 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.… (more)
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 reason, I give it a lacklustre rating.

2 stars- not worth it.
… (more)
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 is profound in its restraint, at the same time, expressing a whole world.… (more)


Original language



Page: 0.1753 seconds