Charles Mudede recently wrote a less-than-flattering review of John Ashbery's recent collection, A Worldly Country: New Poems. I haven't had a chance to read Ashbery's new collection yet, though I did hear some of it at a reading Ashbery did at Yale earlier in the fall and enjoyed his quiet mediations, so I question Mudede's suggestion that "what readers in bed want out of poetry are deliriums" and "the urgency of a hard cock, the fruit and juice of a ripe nipple".
In the short review, Mudede writes:
I read A Worldly Country. I read it in bed and found it as dull as reading in bed. There was nothing in it but flat words and desiccated ideas. But what readers in bed want out of poetry are deliriums and the dangers of "dancing in the sheets." We want the urgency of a hard cock, the fruit and juice of a ripe nipple. We want life thrust into the words we are reading. That is what we really want. This is not what we want: "The hat hasn't worn too well" or "Do you still need a handkerchief" or "It all happened long ago/a murky, milky precipitate."
Geez, I don't know about you but when I read in bed I'm in the mood for a good chuckle or for something to get me sleepy. If that's the case, then, maybe Ashbery's EXACTLY the right poet to read before heading off to slumberland.
Read Mudede's complete review of John Ashbery's A Worldly Country: New Poems here.