I've said before that my taste in poetry easily finds John Ashbery's work very palatable. I am well aware that this is not a universal opinion among those who delight in reading contemporary poetry. Ashbery has many detractors. Still, it's a fact that at age 81 Ashbery need not fret about his mark on the American literary culture. It is well cemented. If you doubt this, consider that Ashbery is about to become only the fourth American writer to see their works published during their own lifetime by the Library of America. He joins Philip Roth, Eudora Welty, and Saul Bellow in that distinction.