Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Oxford Research Encyclopedias, Literature. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 07 October 2022

Ashbery, Johnlocked

Ashbery, Johnlocked

  • Susan M. SchultzSusan M. SchultzEnglish, University of Hawai'i-Manoa

Summary

John Ashbery (1927–2017) was a major American poet who synthesized myriad influences of Renaissance poetry, English and American Romanticism, as well as the 20th-century European avant-garde, to create a life’s work of stunning formal and linguistic diversity. He adopted the vatic mode from poets like Andrew Marvell and Thomas Traherne, and demotic American vocabularies from pop culture, journalism, and advertising. He wrote serious meditations on life and mortality, as well as funny poems about Popeye and ordinary life; his tone often wobbled between high and low, serious and frivolous. Ashbery was also a prolific translator of French poetry and prose, as well as an art critic. Critics have praised Ashbery and denounced him, but none doubts that his poetry made a deep mark on American literary history from the late 1950s until his death in 2017.

Subjects

  • North American Literatures
  • 20th and 21st Century (1900-present)
  • Poetry

Updated in this version

Text re-written to reflect recent scholarship.

You do not currently have access to this article

Login

Please login to access the full content.

Subscribe

Access to the full content requires a subscription