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A. R. Ammons quotes

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.

Everything is discursive opinion instead of direct experience.

Anything looked at closely becomes wonderful.

In nature there are few sharp lines.

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

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 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.

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.'

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.

Only silence perfects silence.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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