Sometimes I enjoy John Ashbery in theory more than in practice but there's no doubt that he's one of the most prolific, influential, and misunderstood poets of the 20th-21st century. In this article from The Nation, Ange Mlinko dishes out some high praise for Ashbery, especially in regards to his book-length poem Girls on the Run (1999), saying, " If you're going to read one Ashbery book from the past twenty years [...] it should be Girls on the Run." The book is actually on my "to read" list for one of my classes, so let's hope Mlinko's right...
From The Nation:
It isn't hard to see why, last August, MtvU crowned the octogenarian its first poet laureate. Ashbery can yak. He can apostrophize. He can mock. He can ode and odelay in the same line. His jump-cuts anticipate the music videos that MTV pioneered, and wasn't the first book to mark his late style, April Galleons (1987), published a mere six years after the channel's debut?