## 05/12/2004

Memorize any Ashbery lately? As a matter of fact I have. Whenever I reread a book of his I memorize a few poems. It strikes me the memorability is a bit like specificity. It might be a good shortcut, but cannot be a decisive litmus test for quality. Some poets are more difficult to memorize than others. There are poets I don't even like very much whom I can memorize more easily than other poets I love. Emily D. is easier to memorize than Walt W, but you wouldn't use that, in and of itself, as a criterion for preferring one to the other.

"The Skaters" is a great masterpiece. "Self-Portrait" is another.