Friday, October 07, 2005

The Ashbery piece also supports the earlier rules.

Rule 1: you can be kinda old and still write one of the best American poems of the year.

Ashbery is older now than Ammons was when he died. When Ashbery dies, there will be special issues of special issues. They'll retire his number.

Rule 2: whether a poem is good depends a lot on the writer's biography.

See 1. The poem feels autobiographical even if it probably isn't. Go and join him, while he's still there.

Rule 3: to see what sort of a poem you have, try sorting the poem you have

Sorting helped me see the repeated befores and behinds.

Rule 4: the best American poems are poems in English

Rule 5: the best poems are not pictures, they are words

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