06 April 2012

John Asbury - What Is Poetry

Taking a seat in J's Theater for a moment, where John is posting poems on poetry for April, here is a poem by  "Little JA"

"In school //All the thought got combed out"
-- yup, yep, far too often, sad but true....

What Is Poetry

The medieval town, with frieze
Of boy scouts from Nagoya? The snow

That came when we wanted it to snow?
Beautiful images? Trying to avoid

Ideas, as in this poem? But we
Go back to them as to a wife, leaving

The mistress we desire? Now they
Will have to believe it

As we believed it. In school
All the thought got combed out:

What was left was like a field.
Shut your eyes, and you can feel it for miles around.

Now open them on a thin vertical path.
It might give us--what?--some flowers soon?

from Houseboat Days in John Ashbury: Collected Poems 1956 - 1987 (Library of America, 2008)

1 comment:

John K said...

You know I love Ashbery's poetry. I think I'll have to post the other poem explicitly (because there are many, as in Stevens' work, on poetry more generally) on poetry that appears in this volume, "Et Ut Pictura Poesis Is Her Name."