John Ashbery, one of the most influential American poets of his generation, has died aged 90

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John Ashbery, one of the most influential American poets of his generation, has died aged 90

Sep 05 2017

John Ashbery, who has died aged 90, was widely considered the most innovative and influential American poet of his generation.

One of his most radical innovations was the fluidity with which he allowed pronouns to operate, a rhetorical habit best illustrated by his friend Kenneth Koch's parody of a typical Ashbery line: "It wants to go to bed with us." When asked to comment on this aspect of his work, Ashbery compared his pronouns to "variables in an equation": "'You' can be myself or it can be another person, someone whom I'm addressing, and so can 'he' and 'she' and for that matter 'we'."

Source: The Guardian

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