John Ashbery grew up in Sodus NY, near where our literary friends just bought a house, and he went to school in Rochester, later living on Dartmouth Street where Peggi and I lived when we moved (back here in my case) from Indiana. I di not know much about him until died. I still don’t but I love the snippets o poetry hat have been quoted in his obits and related remembrances.
“I feel the carousel starting slowly
And going faster and faster: desk, papers, books,
Photographs of friends, the window and the trees,
Merging into one neutral band that surrounds
Me on all sides, everywhere I look.
And I cannot explain the action of leveling,
Why it should all boil down to one
Uniform substance, a magma of interiors.”
Ashbery claimed that he was trying to convey “the experience of experience.” What a noble pursuit.