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A. R. Ammons's Quotes

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Born: 1926-02-18
Profession: Poet
Nation: American
Biography of A. R. Ammons

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That's a wonderful change that's taken place, and so most poetry today is published, if not directly by the person, certainly by the enterprise of the poet himself, working with his friends.

Tags: Change, Poetry, Today

Only silence perfects silence.

Tags: Silence

Everything is discursive opinion instead of direct experience.

Tags: Direct, Experience, Opinion

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

Tags: Alone, Become, Stars

I can't tell you where a poem comes from, what it is, or what it is for: nor can any other man. The reason I can't tell you is that the purpose of a poem is to go past telling, to be recognised by burning.

Tags: Past, Reason, Tell

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.

Tags: Change, Stress, Successful

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

Tags: Bad, Judgement, May

Anything looked at closely becomes wonderful.

Tags: Becomes, Closely, Wonderful

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

Tags: Become, Seeing, Ways

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

Tags: Becoming, Laws, Poem

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.

Tags: Between, Seeking, Walk

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.

Tags: Chance, May, Time

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

Tags: God, Greatest, Stillness

In nature there are few sharp lines.

Tags: Few, Lines, Nature

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

Tags: Living, Once, Poetry

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

Tags: Poetry, Rational, Unknown

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

Tags: Attention, Often, Poetry

Questions structure and, so, to some extent predetermine answers.

Tags: Answers, Questions, Structure

The poet exposes himself to the risk. All that has been said about poetry, all that he has learned about poetry, is only a partial assurance.

Tags: Learned, Poetry, Said

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

Tags: Real, Work, Working

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.

Tags: Keep, Mind, Off

Besides the actual reading in class of many poems, I would suggest you do two things: first, while teaching everything you can and keeping free of it, teach that poetry is a mode of discourse that differs from logical exposition.

Tags: Free, Poetry, While

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.

Tags: Health, Thoughts, Time
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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.

Tags: Often, Small, Though

I am grateful for - though I can't keep up with - the flood of articles, theses, and textbooks that mean to share insight concerning the nature of poetry.

Tags: Mean, Nature, Poetry

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.'

Tags: Music, Poetry, Words
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