The New York School of poetry began around 1960 in New York City and included poets such as John Ashbery, Barbara Guest, Kenneth Koch, and Frank O’Hara. Heavily influenced by Surrealism and Modernism, the poetry of the New York School was serious but also ironic, and incorporated an urban sensibility into much of the work. An excerpt from Ashbery’s poem “My Philosophy of Life” demonstrates this attitude:
Just when I thought there wasn’t room enough
for another thought in my head, I had this great idea—
call it a philosophy of life, if you will. Briefly,
it involved living the way philosophers live,
according to a set of principles. OK, but which ones?