Saturday, October 22, 2005

week 5 post 1

My Philosophy of Life
John Ashbery

Just when i thought there wasnt room enough
for another thought in my head, i had this great idea
call it a Philosophy of life if you will. Briefly
it involved living the ways philosophers live,
according to a set of principles. Ok, but which ones?

That was the hardest part, i admit, but i had a
kind of dark foreknowledge of what it would be like
everything from eating watermelon to going to the
or just standing in a subway platform, lost in thought
for a few minutes, or worrying about rain forests...

This poem was really interesting to me because it didn’t even sound like a poem, but rather a short story that was a rambling of whatever was going on inside the speakers head. His subject seems to switch back and forth a few times. He begins talking about his philosophy and he describes it in an interesting way for a few lines and then seems to get side tracked for a while. Then he continues the next stanza beginning about traveling and the weather. He brings a sort of comical relief to the poem when he talks about the public toilets where people have carved things into them. He questions if these are their philosophies after using the toilet. Near the end he admits to writers block and writes his way out of it, in a really talented way. He then returns back to saying that maybe he is not going to adopt this philosophy but live his life the way he has been. He takes us through spiral and at the end we are just at the beginning.


Blogger MValentine said...

I totally thought that this poem was just plain weird and I agree with Naseem that it does not even sound like a poem. At first if you read through it real quickly it just sounds like a bunch of jumbled thoughts that have just been carelessly strug together. The tone in the poem is very informal and this gives me the sense that the author does not want it to be taken to seriously. There is a sense of brilliance in the poem in how it ends, because it ends in this sense of ridiculousness, but to me it feels only half edited. I guess that is the way that he wanted it though, but with the informal tone it would be hard to capture someones attention to take it seriously enought to connect the begining and the end of the poem.

3:29 AM  

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