A.R. Ammons and the Poetics of Widening Scope
Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1994 - 246 pages
A. R. Ammons and the Poetics of Widening Scope explores the full range of Ammons's poetry, from the poet's first published poems in Ommateum to his most recently published long poem, Garbage. After contextualizing Ammons as a poet of science, Steven P. Schneider examines Ammons's relationship to his American Romantic forebears, Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman. Key chapters are devoted to the connections between Ammons's poetry and contemporary vision theory, astronomy, and biology. Schneider presents new and penetrating readings of Ammons's central poems, such as "Corsons Inlet," Sphere, and "Easter Morning."
The author argues that A. R. Ammons is committed to the concept of "widening scope." For Ammons, this refers to both his own cognitive and visual range and to that of his readers. Walt Whitman, in his 1855 Preface to Leaves of Grass, asked: "Who knows the curious mystery of the eyesight?" Over a century later, Ammons declares that "there is no finality of vision." Ammons's exploration of the expansive possibilities of sight and science enables him to extend the American visionary tradition into the late twentieth century. As a poet Ammons is not only keenly introspective but also intensely observant of the natural world. Schneider suggests that this inward and outward movement of observation in Ammons's work helps to explain why critics have identified him as both a poet of the mind and a poet of nature. This intersection of self and cosmos yields for Ammons a poetry of heightened consciousness of its own processes and forms. Ammons's poems also reflect and probe the intricate processes of the natural world, and Schneider writes lucidly about these complex scientific concepts - the light cone, quantum physics, the origins of the universe - in order to illuminate Ammons's poetry of cosmos and consciousness.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
List of Abbreviations
Ammons and His Forebears
Ammonss Visual Calisthenics
5 other sections not shown
Other editions - View all
A. R. Ammons American Ammons's appear astronomy attention becomes beginning Bloom body break called cells Collected continues cosmic critical death describes discover discovery early earth Emerson encounters energy Essays example experience expresses facts fall Farm feel final flow forces galaxies give holding human Imagining interest kind knowledge knows language leaves light limited lines living long poems look meaning mind mons motion move nature night objects observation passages perception perspective physics planets poem poet poet's poetic poetry possibilities present provides reader reality record reflects ridge says scientific scope seems seen sense shape short sight Snow space Sphere stars stone suggests takes things Thoreau thought tion transformed tree truth turn unity universe vision visionary visual volume walk Whitman widening wind winter writes York