Monday, October 10, 2016

From an old notebook

John Ashbery and Kenneth Koch, discussing Ashbery’s poem “Europe” :

Koch: There’s no key to understanding the poem, of course, no hidden meaning?

Ashbery: No, it’s just a bunch of impressions.

Koch: Why is the idea of keys and hidden meanings not appealing to you?

Ashbery: Because somebody might find them out and then the poem would no longer be mysterious.

“A Conversation,” in Out of This World: An Anthology of the St. Mark’s Poetry Project, 1966–1991 , ed. Anne Waldman. (New York: Crown, 1991). The conversation appears to date from 1966.
Related reading
All OCA Ashbery and Koch posts (Pinboard)
Beauty and the Beast and kid talk (Also from the notebook)

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