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The Really Short Poems

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  84 ratings  ·  9 reviews
“Filled with sharp irony and passionate insight, the more than 100 poems in the collection span the career of one of the deans of contemporary poetry. . . . Ammons makes you laugh and forces you to think hard about the way humans relate to natural phenomena and to themselves. From such simple, short expression emerge complex, often confounding ideas. New readers of poetry ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published May 17th 1992 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1991)
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Now I'm
into things

so small
when I

say boo
I disappear
- Progress Report (pg. 105)

Ammons is at his best in the short, or should I say really short form. Before finding The Really Short Poems, I remember reading Ammons's Selected Poems and thinking, or suspecting, that I would probably prefer it if the selection consisted entirely of the poet's shorter poems. My suspicions have been confirmed.

It is my opinion that everything you need to read of Ammons's is collected here, with a few exceptions... S
I've recently be reintroduced to poetry, and I can't believe I was so intimidated by it for so long. While I still get stuck sometimes, and I know I'm missing a lot of context in what I read, some poems just step right out and grab you. Ammons is just great. These "really short" poems almost always deserve a second or third read, but their brevity lets them slip right into your head, like reversing the reel of Athena leaping full- grown from Zeus. Here's two on the subject of love and desire, a ...more

Interesting poetry -- some of the poems are obtuse, others are humorous, poignant, observant, clever, aphoristic, or depressive. Few of the poems appear to be written quickly. The words are carefully sequenced to provide the intended response. Most show great feeling but a few seemed flippant. Some I like very much, others probably emotionally would move someone else or make them laugh.
Julia Curtis

I liked his stuff. It was good. It was a bit too.. nature-esk for me. Some of them were really intriguing and I read them a few times. None of them stuck out so much that I remember what they were called at the moment.
However, if you're ever out and about, it might be a fun thing to bring along for a read.
Long a source for lessons in this or that without lots of verbiage, obviously, but repercussions as one can open to:
It's nice
after dinner
to walk down to
the beach

and find
the biggest
thing on earth
relatively calm.

I enjoyed this book of poetry a lot! The poems really were "really short," but were often thought provoking. Also, since this has been a busy time for me, it's been relaxing and satisfying to read this book, a few poems at a time.
Lara Messersmith-Glavin

Like a steel drum
cast at sea
my days,
banged and dented
by a found shore of
ineradicable realities,
sandsunk, finally, gaping,
rustsunk in
compass grass

p. 33
3.5 stars.

I was going to give it 3 stars, but in the last 50 pages or so, he started spouting all these clever and lovely poems that made me gasp with appreciation.
Michael Stapelmann
I carry this book with me almost wherever I go, in case I'm ever in need of some quick inspiration.
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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...
Garbage The Selected Poems Collected Poems, 1951-1971 Tape for the Turn of the Year Sphere: The Form of a Motion

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I found a
that had a

mirror in it
and that

looked in at
a mirror

me that
had a
weed in it”

If you walk back
and forth

through a puddle pretty

you wet the whole
driveway but of

course dry
the puddle up.”
More quotes…