"I don't look on poetry as closed works. I feel they're going on all the time in my head and I occasionally snip off a length."
"All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling."John Ashbery on Oscar Wilde
"A poet can survive everything but a misprint."John Ashbery on Oscar Wilde
"Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things."John Ashbery on T. S. Eliot
"Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words."John Ashbery on Robert Frost
"A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness."John Ashbery on Robert Frost
"There is the view that poetry should improve your life. I think people confuse it with the Salvation Army."
"The poem is sad because it wants to be yours, and cannot be."