Tuesday, August 08, 2017

A funny American poet

ASHBERY
Some people wouldn't agree that my poetry is lighthearted. Frank O'Hara once said, “I don't see why Kenneth likes John's work so much because he thinks everything should be funny and John's poetry is about as funny as a wrecked train.” In my life I am reasonably happy now. There are days when I think I am not, but I think there are probably more days when I think I am. I was impressed by an Ingmar Bergman movie I saw years ago—I can't remember the name of it—in which a woman tells the story of her life, which has been full of tragic experiences. She's telling the story in the dressing room of a theater where she is about to go on and perform in a ballet. At the end of it she says, “But I am happy.” Then it says, “The End.”