Monday, May 26, 2003

Tim, I'm going to an Ammons-themed dinner tomorrow night. He is, of course, something of a god at Cornell, and my committee chair Roger Gilbert is writing his biography (I'll be doing a little research to help him over the summer). I actually haven't read much Ammons (Sphere and a few shorter poems) but although I've sometimes wondered if there's a there there I do feel that there is something... there. Sphere, for instance, is genuinely funny in spots, and it also demonstrates a Whitmanesque capacity for catalog, the sense of a poem that manages to include encylopedic quantities of information about the world. I'll have more to say about Ammons as I get deeper into him. He might make a good baseline example of late 20th century pastoral, serving as a foil to the wilder manifestations of Ronald Johnson, Duncan, etc.

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