America’s most renowned poet John Ashbery has died at the age of 90 at his Hudson, New York located home on 3rd September, Sunday. The poet who had bagged almost all American awards for his literary work including the National Book Award, Pulitzer Prize, the Bollingen Prize, the Yale Younger Poets Prize, the Griffin International, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize had published more than 20 volumes of poetry in his lifelong poetry journey. He had also got Pulitzer prize in 1976 for his Self-Portrait In a Convex Mirror.
In Spite of several accusations charged on him for his poetry works like The Tennis Court Oath (1962) which are less accessible to a wider audience, he was indeed a man of letters.
On the views of criticism, he said in an interview made with NPR in 2005, “What they are is about the privacy of all of us, and the difficulty of our own thinking,” he said, “Yet they are, I think, accessible if anyone cares to access them.”
Further in a 2011 interview with Time asking Ashbery, “Are you, in fact, America’s most important living poet?” he replied-
“I don’t think so. Important? I get talked about a lot. For many years, the jury has been out—and probably always will be—on the question of my importance. I enjoy writing the way I do, which sort of doesn’t please a lot of people, and pleases others enormously.”
Ashbery had done graduation from Harvard College and post studies, i,e, M.A from Columbia University. His early ambition was to become a painter and so he took weekly classes at an art museum in Rochester during the age of 11 to 15.
He got the National Humanities Medal from America’s then president Barack Obama in 2012 along with Ramón Saldívar, the literary scholar