The Influence of Eliot, Hölderlin, and Wordsworth on John Ashbery's Riverine Poetics
Author: Ross, Stephen
Source: Comparative American Studies, Volume 9, Number 2, June 2011 , pp. 174-188(15)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:While it has become a critical commonplace to speak of Ashberyan 'flux' and of the poet's meandering, riverine style, no close analysis of rivers in his work has been completed to date. Nor has full measure been taken of Ashbery's borrowings from major predecessors with regard to this topos, namely Wordsworth, Hölderlin, and Eliot, whose works have memorably explored and articulated the symbolic bonds between river imagery and the processes of the poetic imagination. This essay traces Ashbery's stylistic changes and advances across the early and middle periods of his career (roughly 1956–1975) in the context of his use of river imagery in earlier works like 'Into the Dusk-Charged Air', 'Clepsydra' and 'Parergon', and culminating in his later masterpiece, Three Poems, while also demonstrating the extent to which Ashbery absorbed and re-imagined the lessons of his poetic forebears.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: St John's College, Oxford, UK;, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication date: 2011-06-01