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The Selected Poems

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  290 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
To the "visions of clarity and terror" in that volume the poet now adds the most important poems from his three books published since. The resulting collection is the essential starting place for new readers, the quarry for those familiar with his work. Among the new poems is "Easter Morning," which the critic Helen Vendler called "a classic poem . . . a revelation."
Paperback, 136 pages
Published March 17th 1987 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1977)
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Sep 04, 2016 Emi rated it really liked it
Shelves: next-in-queue
A.R. Ammons' poems give off an air of transcendence through his observation of nature. A scientist, he posses a keen eye for things easily missed, while still finding and interpreting, as a spiritual man also, the inaudible expressions of the Artist through creation in a manner reminiscent of Thoreau and Whitman. His tone is more composed than I prefer, but colloquial, sincere (lacking any sarcasm), and strangely uplifting even in depicting garbage. Besides "Cason's Inlet," my favorites containe ...more
Jun 06, 2015 Matthew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I read this collection on the basis of a poem I read upon open the book to a random page...
I said
Mr. Schafer
did you get up to see the comet:

he said
Oh no
let it go by, I don't care:
- Dominion (pg. 43)

This poem contains the humour of a poet who once referred to himself as a "drab pot" ("top bard" backwards). Otherwise, the poem is less remarkable in the collection, belonging to the free form poems that seem to get lost among the lengthier poems that are more formally inclined - most notably, t
Dec 03, 2011 Meter added it
John Cutler
Jun 03, 2014 John Cutler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry-and-drama
This was my first experience of Ammons beyond single poems collected in anthologies, and I liked it very much. I'll likely return to it again.
Caleb Benadum
May 12, 2013 Caleb Benadum rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This collection receives a four star rating from me only because of the poem "Easter Morning" which is one of the most beautiful and insightful poems I have ever encountered. This is not to say I didn't enjoy the rest, in fact, I love Ammons style and the way he uses enjambment throughout his work. I suppose its because I read Easter Morning first, and then came to this work. While I enjoy nature, what got to me about Easter Morning, the utter humanity of it, was just not present in a lot of his ...more
Feb 02, 2015 David rated it it was amazing
Wonderful work, again.
Aug 14, 2014 Bryan rated it really liked it
After reading this collection I will have to say I like Ammons' shorter poems best. This collection has more medium to long poems, some of which are also excellent, but his short poems are the best.
Dec 01, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
I've now done presentations on Ammons in two different classes and I just love his work more and more. I definitely recommend this collection!
Jul 27, 2016 Kirkpatrick rated it it was amazing
Where the center is
Jun 25, 2007 Alex rated it it was amazing
My favorite poet.
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  • Collected Poems
  • Selected Poems
  • Collected Poems
  • The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly: Poems Collected and New
  • Radi OS
  • Gunslinger
  • Harmonium
  • Migration: New and Selected Poems
  • Selected Poems: Summer Knowledge
  • The Complete Poems
  • The Seven Ages
  • The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa
  • Collected Poems, 1943-2004
  • The Collected Books
  • Pictures from Brueghel and Other Poems
  • The Poems of Marianne Moore
  • Magic City
  • Selected Poems
Archie Randolph Ammons was born outside Whiteville, North Carolina, on February 18, 1926. He started writing poetry aboard a U. S. Navy destroyer escort in the South Pacific. After completing service in World War II, he attended Wake Forest University and the University of California at Berkeley.

His honors included the Academy's Wallace Stevens Award, the Poetry Society of America's Robert Frost M
More about A.R. Ammons...

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“The reeds give
way to the

wind and give
the wind away”
“It was May before my
attention came
to spring and

my word I said
to the southern slopes

missed it, it
came and went before
I got right to see:

don't worry, said the mountain,
try the later northern slopes
or if

you can climb, climb
into spring: but
said the mountain

it's not that way
with all things, some
that go are gone”
More quotes…