Like Whitman, Frost, Eliot, Stevens, and William Carlos
Williams, John Ashbery had a hand in creating the American poem.
And when he died at the age of ninety, the encomiums actually
exceeded expectations. Even his admirers liked him. Indeed, no poet
in recent memory—not Merrill or Walcott, not Strand, Wilbur, or
Kinnell—generated the coupling of such affection and respect. It was
something to behold, this gentle blizzard of appreciation.
Here is my review of Ashbery's Where Shall I Wander.