"If we ask a vague question, such as, 'What is poetry?' we expect a vague answer, such as, 'Poetry is the music of words,' or 'Poetry is the linguistic correction of disorder.'"
"All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling."A. R. Ammons on Oscar Wilde
"A poet can survive everything but a misprint."A. R. Ammons on Oscar Wilde
"Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things."A. R. Ammons on T. S. Eliot
"Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words."A. R. Ammons on Robert Frost
"A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness."A. R. Ammons on Robert Frost
"Is it not careless to become too local when there are four hundred billion stars in our galaxy alone."
"Everything is discursive opinion instead of direct experience."
"Even if you walk exactly the same route each time - as with a sonnet - the events along the route cannot be imagined to be the same from day to day, as the poet's health, sight, his anticipations, moods, fears, thoughts cannot be the same."
"Probably all the attention to poetry results in some value, though the attention is more often directed to lesser than to greater values."
"I am grateful for - though I can't keep up with - the flood of articles, theses, and textbooks that mean to share insight concerning the nature of poetry."
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