John Ashbery
John Lawrence Ashbery is an American poet. He has published more than twenty volumes of poetry and won nearly every major American award for poetry, including a Pulitzer Prize in 1976 for his collection Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror. But Ashbery's work still proves controversial. In an article on Elizabeth Bishop
Elizabeth Bishop
Elizabeth Bishop was an American poet and short-story writer. She was the Poet Laureate of the United States from 1949 to 1950, a Pulitzer Prize winner in 1956 and a National Book Award Winner for Poetry in 1970. Elizabeth Bishop House is an artists' retreat in Great Village, Nova Scotia...

 in his Selected Prose, he characterizes himself as having been described as "a harebrained, homegrown surrealist whose poetry defies even the rules and logic of Surrealism
Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members....

." Although renowned for the postmodern complexity and opacity of his work, Ashbery has stated that he wishes it to be accessible to as many people as possible, not a private dialogue.

"No figure looms so large in American poetry over the past 50 years as John Ashbery," Langdon Hammer, chairman of the English Department at Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

, wrote in 2008.

"Did I say that? One says so many things, and the problem is they all get written down."

(In response to the question "Why do you call yourself anti-art?," Bard College, 2005)

In the beginning there are those who don't quite fit inBut are somehow okay. And then some morningThere are places that suddenly seem wonderful:Weather and water seem wonderful,And the peaceful night sky that arrivesIn time to protect us, like a swordCutting the blue cloak of a prince.

"A Snowball in Hell," April Galleons

These two guys in the front yard--Are they here to help?

"Gorboduc," April Galleons