Collected poems, 1951-1971 by A. R. Ammons
New York : W.W. Norton & Co., 1972. Fourth printing. Hardcover. 396 pages ; 22 cm. $15.00 dust jacket. Bollingen prize sticker on jacket front. Foxing to page edges. No markings to pages. Binding is firm. Very good copy.
Collected Poems: 1951-1971
BY A. R. Ammons
A. R. Ammons has steadily acquired the sure reputation of a major American poet. In this book he brings together more than three hundred of his most important new and previously published poems.
The critic Harold Bloom has suggested that Ammons is in the great central line of American poets—from Emerson through Whitman, Frost, Pound, Stevens, and Wil-liams—who have written a specifically American poetry, concerned to compound the visionary and the visible. Bloom says, "It will seem increasingly to many attentive readers that this volume—the most distinguished book of American verse, in my judgment, since the publication of Wallace Stevens' Collected Poems in 1955—marks the permanent establishment of a major visionary poet. As we learned to read Stevens in the '50's and '60's, we will learn to read Ammons in the '70's and '80's." Bloom continues, "The time has come to suggest that the development of Ammons, together with the gathering achievement of just a few other poets in his generation, constitutes the largest hope currently available for another renewal of the central tradition in American poetry. Ammons has all the qualities necessary to this tradition: imaginative persistence, an idiom of his own invention, total mastery of craft, an obsessive yet sanely insightful concern with freedom and fate, and beyond all this, a complete vision of his own heterocosm, at once an alternative world to outward nature yet also the actuality of nature given back to us again.
"For those readers who seek in poetry the profundities and vitalization that only great work affords, Ammons' Collected Poems: 1951-1971 will provide many years of magnificent apprehensions and of joy."
Other readers say: "No mere gathering of poems, this collection is like one the explorer brings back. Since Robert Frost, there has been no one like Ammons for encounters with the natural world. His adventures and returns make visible for us a strangely detailed, precarious landscape of the mind that we couldn't know without him."—David Kalstone
"In all its guises, Ammons' poetry is never disguised: the work follows a spiral trajectory, so that wherever we take it, the art is complete; his spirit is surely one of the largest to speak among us, today, of what we are and are not; therefore it is a great thing to have this largest collection of his utterance, so reticent in all its authority, so gorgeous in all its immediacy." —Richard Howard
"A. R. Ammons' work has crystallized brilliantly, in recent years, around an angle of vision central to American poetry today. Diffuse illuminations have fallen into inexorable place, scattered occasions have become part of a lattice which emanates as much light as it registers. The appearance of Ammons' Collected Poems: 1951-1971 is a major imaginative event." —John Hollander
A. R. Ammons was born in Whiteville, North Carolina. He is currently Professor of English at Cornell University. He has published eight volumes of poetry.
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