John Ashbery, the enigmatic poet whose efforts took American poetry to new heights of excellence and dynamism, passed away at the age of 90 on Sunday. 

Ashbery was the first living poet to have a volume of his life’s works published by the Library of America. The collection of his poems, “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror," became the winner of a rare trifecta — Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle prize. John Ashbery's husband David Kermani broke the news of his death, reports said. He breathed his last at his home in Hudson, New York, on Sunday. 

His oratory skills were unmatched by any of his contemporaries, and he dared to create art out of everyday language, wit and humor. We remember the legendary poet through some of his inspirational sayings about poetry and life taken from Brainy Quote and AZ Quotes:

1. Much that is beautiful must be discarded. So that we may resemble a taller Impression of ourselves.

2. What is the past, what is it all for? A mental sandwich?

3. I write with experiences in mind, but I don't write about them, I write out of them.

4. Reading is a pleasure, but to finish reading, to come to the blank space at the end, is also a pleasure.

5. 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.

6. I think that in the process of writing, all kinds of unexpected things happen that shift the poet away from his plan and that these accidents are really what we mean when we talk about poetry.

7. There is the view that poetry should improve your life. I think people confuse it with the Salvation Army.

8. Not until it starts to stink does the inevitable happen.

9. I don't find any direct statements in life. My poetry imitates or reproduces the way knowledge or awareness come to me, which is by fits and starts and by indirection. I don't think poetry arranged in neat patterns would reflect that situation. My poetry is disjunct, but then so is life.

10. In the increasingly convincing darkness The words become palpable, like a fruit That is too beautiful to eat.

11. How many people came and stayed a certain time, Uttered light or dark speech that became part of you Like light behind windblown fog and sand Filtered and influenced by it, until no part Remains that is surely you.

12. I don't want to read what is going to slide down easily; there has to be some crunch, a certain amount of resilience.

13. And so we turn the page over. To think of starting. This is all there is.

14. I like poems you can tack all over with a hammer and there are no hollow places.

15. Somewhere someone is traveling furiously toward you, At incredible speed, traveling day and night, Through blizzards and desert heat, across torrents, through narrow passes. But will he know where to find you, Recognize you when he sees you, Give you the thing he has for you?