John Ashbery reads from Chinese Whispers (2002), his twenty-fourth book of poems. Along the way, he discusses the poems’ references to Erik Satie, Marcel Duchamp, Arthur Rimbaud, and other titans of French music, art, and literature. The reading, from the 2003 Key West Literary Seminar: The Beautiful Changes, includes the poems “A Nice Presentation,” “Disagreeable Glimpses,”
“Theme Park Days,” “Why Not Sneeze,” “View of Delft,” “The Lightning Conductor,” “I Asked Mr. Dithers Whether It Was Time Yet He said No To Wait,” “Local Legend,” “Runway,” and “The Business of Falling Asleep, 2.”
From KWLS 2003: The Beautiful Changes
One thought on “John Ashbery: 2003”
Robert Manenti says:
Hi. I’m an amateur poetry reader and retired nurse, living up in the Hudson NY area. I twice met John Ashbery during his
hospitalization at the hospital upstate where I worked. I brought him my soft bound copies of his work so that he could sign them.
He was a big man and seemed inadequate lying in the relatively small single bed the hospital afforded. I sometimes hit upon the
musical qualities of his poems as I chant them softly out loud to myself but most of the times I’m frustrated by the labyrinth nature
of his meaningful meandering. Since his passing I have enjoyed listening to numerous recorded readings that Ashbery has given and
find my comprehension of his work, improved by following the text with him. Thanks for making available this pleasurable reading
of John during these COVID-19 lockdown days.