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How Poets See the WorldThe Art of Description in Contemporary Poetry$
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Willard Spiegelman

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195332926

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195332926.001.0001

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John Ashbery's Haunted Landscapes

John Ashbery's Haunted Landscapes

(p.137) Six John Ashbery's Haunted Landscapes
How Poets See the World

Willard Spiegelman

Oxford University Press

Presenting John Ashbery as a landscape poet, or a descriptive one, casts light on a sizable proportion of his poetry—even if only parts rather than wholes, let alone volumes. A panorama of visual details overwhelms Ashbery's poems and his speakers, sometimes charming them, sometimes depressing them. Time, consciousness, and landscape are his primary subjects. He is a poet nostalgic for space as well as time. This chapter examines his poem, “Haunted Landscape,” where everything changes before the readers' eyes: the poem ends with a haunted house, before which it has presented an abandoned mountain landscape and a farming scene somewhere down South. The poem extends from pastoral to georgic to domestic gestures.

Keywords:   John Ashbery, landscape poet, time, consciousness, landscape, Haunted Landscape

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