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Tag: John Ashbery

Inhabiting the Poem: Clepsydra, by John Ashbery

The Ruth Stone House Podcast
The Ruth Stone House Podcast
Inhabiting the Poem: Clepsydra, by John Ashbery

“Poetry is a voicing, a calling forth, and the lyric poem exists somewhere in the region–the register–between speech and song.” –Edward Hirsch

“I made it out of a mouthful of air,” –W.B. Yeats

I”m very excited for this new series on the Podcast, where I will be reading you a poems out loud! It is important, I realized, not to just intellectualize and philosophize about the art of poetry and the mechanics of creativity: we must constantly come back to the poems themselves. To experience what is it we talk about in the conceptual.

The poem I am starting with is a long poem. I chose a long poem because I was sitting on my porch reading poems, and I found I was skipping over the longer ones. Why, I mused, this laziness? I found myself reading the longer poem out loud, and was struck by its multifarious nature, and winding beauty, that I would never had the chance to experience without putting forth the effort to engage with it. I wanted to share that experience with you.

Some advice for listening to a 18 minute poem…. try not reading along, and just submitting to the language, letting it surprise you. One minute you may be spacing out and bored, the next vividly hit by a line.

and/or listen again while reading the poem on the page. Besides seeing where I probably mess up, see what surprises you about the different experiences

I’m taking requests, if you have a poem you’d like me to read (a published poem, not your own please), make a note in the comments, or send to

PDF Of the poem for your pleasure

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