A. R. Ammons

A. R. Ammons

Biography

Author Profession: US Poet
Born: February 18, 1926
Died: February 25, 2001
Birth Sign: Aquarius

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A. R. Ammons quotes

Only silence perfects silence.

Anything looked at closely becomes wonderful.

Is it not careless to become too local when there are four hundred billion stars in our galaxy alone.

Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.

In nature there are few sharp lines.

There's something to be said in favor of working in isolation in the real world.

You have your identity when you find out, not what you can keep your mind on, but what you can't keep your mind off.

Once every five hundred years or so, a summary statement about poetry comes along that we can't imagine ourselves living without.

If a poem is each time new, then it is necessarily an act of discovery, a chance taken, a chance that may lead to fulfillment or disaster.

Even if you walk exactly the same route each time - as with a sonnet - the events along the route cannot be imagined to be the same from day to day, as the poet's health, sight, his anticipations, moods, fears, thoughts cannot be the same.

A poem generated by its own laws may be unrealized and bad in terms of so-called objective principles of taste, judgement, deduction.

If the greatest god is the stillness all the motions add up to, then we must ineluctably be included.

Each poem in becoming generates the laws by which it is generated: extensions of the laws to other poems never completely take.

Probably all the attention to poetry results in some value, though the attention is more often directed to lesser than to greater values.

For though we often need to be restored to the small, concrete, limited, and certain, we as often need to be reminded of the large, vague, unlimited, unknown.

I must stress here the point that I appreciate clarity, order, meaning, structure, rationality: they are necessary to whatever provisional stability we have, and they can be the agents of gradual and successful change.

If we ask a vague question, such as, 'What is poetry?' we expect a vague answer, such as, 'Poetry is the music of words,' or 'Poetry is the linguistic correction of disorder.'

Everything is discursive opinion instead of direct experience.

I take the walk to be the externalization of an interior seeking so that the analogy is first of all between the external and the internal.

Poetry leads us to the unstructured sources of our beings, to the unknown, and returns us to our rational, structured selves refreshed.

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