John Ashbery Poems

John Ashbery was an American poet who also worked as an art critic. He’s one of the most important American poets of his generation. He’s been compared to some of the greatest American poets of all time, like T.S. Eliot and Walt Whitman. He published 20 volumes of poetry throughout his lifetime and won the Pulitzer Prize.

Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror

by John Ashbery

‘Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror’ by John Ashbery manifests art’s struggle to capture the multifaceted self.

This poem is often considered one of the standout achievements in John Ashberry's illustrious career. It's regarded as a pinnacle of his poetic oeuvre. The poem's complexity, thematic depth, innovative use of language, and engagement with profound philosophical questions have earned it critical acclaim and recognition. The poem won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1976, which is a testament to its exceptional quality and impact on the literary world.

As Parmigianino did it, the right hand

Bigger than the head, thrust at the viewer

And swerving easily away, as though to protect

What it advertises. A few leaded panes, old beams,


And Ut Pictura Poesis Is Her Name

by John Ashbery

‘And Ut Pictura Poesis Is Her Name’ by John Ashbery is about poetry as an art form to express what’s in a creator’s mind. This piece focuses chiefly on the role of art and its nature.

Forties Flick

by John Ashbery

Published in John Ashbery’s award-winning poetry collection, Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (1975), the poem ‘Forties Flick’ is a postmodern, nostalgic lyric on film noir of the “classic period.” This piece vividly portrays a trademark scene of Hollywood crime dramas of the 1940s.

We're glad you like visiting Poem Analysis...

We've got everything you need to master poetry

But, are you ready to take your learning

to the next level?