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Archie Randolph Ammons

(18 February 1926 – 25 February 2001 / Whiteville, North Carolina)

Quotations

  • ''no arranged terror: no forcing of image, plan,
    or thought:
    no propaganda, no humbling of reality to precept:
    terror pervades but is not arranged, all possibilities
    of escape open: no route shut,''
    Archie Randolph Ammons (b. 1926), U.S. poet. Corsons Inlet (l. 114-118). . . Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, The. Richard Ellmann and Robert O'Clair, eds. (2d ed., 1988) W. W. Norton & Company.
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  • ''risk is full: every living thing in
    siege: the demand is life, to keep life: the small
    white blacklegged egret, how beautiful, quietly stalks and spears
    the shallows, darts to shore
    to stab—''
    Archie Randolph Ammons (b. 1926), U.S. poet. Corsons Inlet (l. 70-74). . . Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, The. Richard Ellmann and Robert O'Clair, eds. (2d ed., 1988) W. W. Norton & Company.
  • ''I have reached no conclusions, have erected no boundaries,
    shutting out and shutting in, separating inside
    from outside: I have
    drawn no lines:''
    Archie Randolph Ammons (b. 1926), U.S. poet. Corsons Inlet (l. 41-44). . . Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, The. Richard Ellmann and Robert O'Clair, eds. (2d ed., 1988) W. W. Norton & Company.
  • ''the possibility of rule as the sum of rulelessness:''
    Archie Randolph Ammons (b. 1926), U.S. poet. Corsons Inlet (l. 92). . . Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, The. Richard Ellmann and Robert O'Clair, eds. (2d ed., 1988) W. W. Norton & Company.
  • ''but Overall is beyond me: is the sum of these events
    I cannot draw, the ledger I cannot keep, the accounting
    beyond the account:''
    Archie Randolph Ammons (b. 1926), U.S. poet. Corsons Inlet (l. 30-32). . . Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, The. Richard Ellmann and Robert O'Clair, eds. (2d ed., 1988) W. W. Norton & Company.
  • ''the walk liberating, I was released from forms,
    from the perpendiculars,
    straight lines, blocks, boxes, binds
    of thought
    into the hues, shadings, rises, flowing bends and blends
    of sight:''
    Archie Randolph Ammons (b. 1926), U.S. poet. Corsons Inlet (l. 13-18). . . Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, The. Richard Ellmann and Robert O'Clair, eds. (2d ed., 1988) W. W. Norton & Company.
  • ''to fasten into order enlarging grasps of disorder, widening
    scope, but enjoying the freedom that
    Scope eludes my grasp, that there is no finality of vision,
    that I have perceived nothing completely,
    that tomorrow a new walk is a new walk.''
    Archie Randolph Ammons (b. 1926), U.S. poet. Corsons Inlet (l. 124-128). . . Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, The. Richard Ellmann and Robert O'Clair, eds. (2d ed., 1988) W. W. Norton & Company.
  • ''The wonderful workings of the world: wonderful,
    wonderful: I'm surprised half the time:''
    Archie Randolph Ammons (b. 1926), U.S. poet. Cut the Grass (l. 1-2). . . Harper Anthology of Poetry, The. John Frederick Nims, ed. (1981) Harper & Row.
  • ''the ocean, multiple to a blinding
    oneness''
    Archie Randolph Ammons (b. 1926), U.S. poet. Cut the Grass (l. 14-15). . . Harper Anthology of Poetry, The. John Frederick Nims, ed. (1981) Harper & Row.
  • ''only total expression

    expresses hiding: I'll have to say everything
    to take on the roundness and withdrawal of the deep dark:
    less than total is a bucketful of radiant toys.''
    Archie Randolph Ammons (b. 1926), U.S. poet. Cut the Grass (l. 15-18). . . Harper Anthology of Poetry, The. John Frederick Nims, ed. (1981) Harper & Row.

Read more quotations »

Still

I said I will find what is lowly
and put the roots of my identity
down there:
each day I'll wake up
and find the lowly nearby,
a handy focus and reminder,
a ready measure of my significance,
the voice by which I would be heard,
the wills, the kinds of selfishness

[Hata Bildir]