John Asbhbery (1927-2017)

By Stan Persky | September 4, 2017

John Ashbery (1927-2017).

…                                                 Each person
Has one big theory to explain the universe
But it doesn’t tell the whole story
And in the end it is what is outside him
That matters, to him, and especially to us
Who have been given no help whatsoever
In decoding out own man-size quotient and must rely
On second-hand knowledge…

— from “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror” (1974)

Parmigiano, “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror.”














  • Stan Persky

    Stan Persky taught philosophy at Capilano University in N. Vancouver, B.C. He received the 2010 B.C. Lieutenant-Governor's Award for Literary Excellence. His most recent books are Reading the 21st Century: Books of the Decade, 2000-2009 (McGill-Queen's, 2011), Post-Communist Stories: About Cities, Politics, Desires (Cormorant, 2014), and Letter from Berlin: Essays 2015-2016 (Dooney's, 2017).

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