A. R. Ammons

Quotes: A. R. Ammons

Quotes 1 till 15 of 26.

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    A poem generated by its own laws may be unrealized and bad in terms of so-called objective principles of taste, judgement, deduction.
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    Anything looked at closely becomes wonderful.
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    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.
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    Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing, but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.

    Source: Set in motion: essays, interviews, and dialogues (1996 edition), Univ of Michigan Pr

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

    Source: Set in motion: essays, interviews, and dialogues (1996)

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    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.
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    Everything is discursive opinion instead of direct experience.
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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.
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    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.

    Source: Set in motion: essays, interviews, and dialogues (1996 edition), Univ of Michigan Pr

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    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.
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    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.
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    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.

    Source: Set in motion: essays, interviews, and dialogues (1996)

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