Friday, February 27, 2009

Speaking of greatness ...

... Either/Orr.

I enjoy Ashbery enough, but let's be honest: Deep is not Ashbery's shtick. Caparisons are odorous, as Dogberry said, so I'll not get into guessing who is greater than whom. I do think there's more heft to Wilbur's work - and easily as much music. Bear in mind, too, that Daniel Hoffman and Louis Simpson are still around.

Clarification: I can't bear to think of Bryan hyperventilating. In putting it the way I did, what I was clumsily trying to say is that Ashbery doesn't obviously put on airs of profundity (hence my use of "shtick"). Neither did Frank O'Hara. Both adopt a casual, almost breezy manner. This actually makes a good many of Ashbery's recent poems especially moving. Still, I don't pick up Ashbery when I want the sort of thing R.S. Thomas provides. But I meant no denigration of Ashbery and should perhaps have simply defended him.

Post bumped.

1 comment:

  1. Dep is not Ashbery's schtick! Frank, I am hyperventilating