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This poem is taken from PN Review 99, Volume 21 Number 1, September - October 1994.

Four Poems John Ashbery

Eternity Sings the Blues
Music lovers everywhere
endorse it - just thought I'd let
you know it's National Frivolity Week
again. Will they ever get done
with these things? Stop commercialising 'em?

Music and worry - the two most terrible
things a man can know. How about
women? Strangely, they come off better
just by observing things. This hundred-year-old
spoon is evidence enough of that. How so?

But music, played by a gifted child,
is just about the finest thing anywhere.
Puts me in mind of a cigar
I smoked in a picket line once. They all thought
the boss hired me to do it. Now I ask you.
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