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If a poem is each time new, then it is necessarily an act of discovery,
by A. R. Ammons

If a poem is each time new, then it is necessarily an act of discovery,
a chance taken, a chance that may lead to fulfillment or disaster.
- A. R. Ammons

Everything is discursive opinion instead of direct experience.
- A. R. Ammons

In nature there are few sharp lines.
- A. R. Ammons

There's something to be said in favor of working in
isolation in the real world.
- A. R. Ammons

 

Only silence perfects silence.
- A. R. Ammons

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.'
- A. R. Ammons

A poem generated by its own laws may be unrealized
and bad in terms of so-called objective principles of taste,
judgement, deduction.
- A. R. Ammons

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Poetry leads us to the unstructured sources of our beings,
to the unknown, and returns us to our rational,
structured selves refreshed.
- A. R. Ammons

Each poem in becoming generates the laws by which it is generated:
extensions of the laws to other poems never completely take.
- A. R. Ammons

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.
- A. R. Ammons

Questions structure and, so, to some extent predetermine answers.
- A. R. Ammons

If the greatest god is the stillness all the motions add up to,
then we must ineluctably be included.
- A. R. Ammons

Definition, rationality, and structure are ways of seeing,
but they become prisons when they blank out other ways of seeing.
- A. R. Ammons

I take the walk to be the externalization of an interior
seeking so that the analogy is first of all between
the external and the internal.
- A. R. Ammons

For though we often need to be restored to the small,
concrete, limited, and certain, we as often need to
be reminded of the large,
vague, unlimited, unknown.
- A. R. Ammons

Anything looked at closely becomes wonderful.
- A. R. Ammons

Is it not careless to become too local when there are
four hundred billion stars in our galaxy alone.
- A. R. Ammons

Once every five hundred years or so,
a summary statement about poetry comes along that we
can't imagine ourselves living without.
- A. R. Ammons

You have your identity when you find out,
not what you can keep your mind on, but what you can't keep your mind off.
- A. R. Ammons

Probably all the attention to poetry results in some value,
though the attention is more often directed to lesser than to greater values.
- A. R. Ammons

The poet exposes himself to the risk.
All that has been said about poetry,
all that he has learned about poetry,
is only a partial assurance.
- A. R. Ammons

Besides the actual reading in class of many poems,
I would suggest you do two things: first,
while teaching everything you can and keeping free of it,
teach that poetry is a mode of discourse that differs from logical exposition.
- A. R. Ammons

I can't tell you where a poem comes from,
what it is, or what it is for: nor can any other man.
The reason I can't tell you is that the purpose of
a poem is to go past telling,
to be recognised by burning.
- A. R. Ammons

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.
- A. R. Ammons

I must stress here the point that I appreciate clarity,
order, meaning, structure, rationality:
they are necessary to whatever provisional stability we have,
and they can be the agents of gradual and successful change.
- A. R. Ammons

That's a wonderful change that's taken place,
and so most poetry today is published,
if not directly by the person, certainly by the enterprise of the poet himself,
working with his friends.
- A. R. Ammons

I Dream This Day of Wondrous Things,
of Peace and Hope and Pride.
I Dance My Dance with Life Today,
I'm Filled with Love Inside.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

"Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley

Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Bold Light of Spirit:
Out of the darkness and into the light,
Open our eyes and behold such a sight.
Brilliance of day takes the place of the night,
Boldness and courage are swords of His Might.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

A question that sometimes drives me hazy:
am I or are the others crazy?
- Albert Einstein

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song -
The song from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Pause to appreciate the beauty around you.
Whether rainbow or butterfly,
mountain or tree, painting or poem -
whether crafted by nature or by a human hand -
beauty adds a magical element to life
that surpasses logic and science.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best.
- William Arthur Ward

To see the world in a grain of sand,
and to see heaven in a wild flower,
hold infinity in the palm of your hands,
and eternity in an hour.
- William Blake

THE fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
- Carl Sandburg

All that glisters is not gold;
Often have you heard that told.
Many a man his life hath sold
but my outside to behold.
Gilded tombs do worms enfold.
- William Shakespeare

I am the Wizard. This world is mine.
I speak. It's done. My realm is fine.
My wand, my tongue. My sword, my voice.
It's good. It's bad. I speak my choice.
I say happy, or I say mad.
I say angry, or I say glad.
I name that drawing on the wall.
It's not graffiti after all.
The past has been broken. The prison's not real.
My word holds the magic - the power to heal.
Intent is my weapon - a sword from above.
Cruel hate, fear, and anger transmute into love.
This world's my joy. This mouth's my toy.
Reborn -I'm a brand new girl or boy.
I choose. I speak. My will is done.
Come join. Come play. This can be fun.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Confused Memories of Childhood:
Hate to my father, cruel hate,
confused with love - a mix not great.
The man I love - the man I hate;
the man I want to emulate.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I ...
I took the one less traveled by,
and that has made all the difference.
- Robert Frost

Gather yourself by the sea shore and I will love you there.
Assemble yourself with wild things,
with songs of the sparrow and sea-foam.
Let mad beauty collect itself in your eyes
and it will shine - Calling me.
For I long for a man with nests of wild things in his hair.
A man who will Kiss the Flame.
- Jewel

However, if a poem can be reduced to a prose sentence,
there can't be much to it.
- James Schuyler

Pain is filtered in a poem so that it becomes finally,
in the end, pleasure.
- Mark Strand

A poem is never finished, only abandoned.
- Paul Valery

A poem can have an impact, but you can't expect an
audience to understand all the nuances.
- Douglas Dunn

A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom.
- Robert Frost

A poem conveys not a message so much as the provenance of a message,
an advent of sense.
- Thomas Harrison

A poem begins as a lump in the throat,
a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.
- Robert Frost

A poem is true if it hangs together.
Information points to something else.
A poem points to nothing but itself.
- E. M. Forster

Every single soul is a poem.
- Michael Franti

No poem is easily grasped; so why should any reader expect fast results?
- John Barton

Usually a life turned into a poem is misrepresented.
- Mark Strand

The poem is the point at which our strength gave out.
- Richard Rosen

A picture is a poem without words.
- Horace

One will never again look at a birch tree,
after the Robert Frost poem, in exactly the same way.
- Paul Muldoon

The novel is born of disillusionment;
the poem,
of despair.
- Jose Bergamin

A poem might be defined as thinking about feelings -
about human feelings and frailties.
- Anne Stevenson

I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.
- Joyce Kilmer

To read a poem is to hear it with our eyes;
to hear it is to see it with our ears.
- Octavio Paz

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, - I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! - and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I was reading the dictionary.
I thought it was a poem about everything.
- Steven Wright

I sometimes talk about the making of a poem within the poem.
- Howard Nemerov

I think of my peace paintings as one long poem,
with each painting being a single stanza.
- Robert Indiana

If you read quickly to get through a poem to what it means,
you have missed the body of the poem.
- M. H. Abrams

If you cannot be a poet, be the poem.
- David Carradine

History is a cyclic poem written by time upon the memories of man.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley

Wanted: a needle swift enough to sew this poem into a blanket.
- Charles Simic

The moment of change is the only poem.
- Adrienne Rich

You don't make a poem with ideas, but with words.
- Stephane Mallarme

With me it's the whole thing, it's the conceit,
the idea, what the poem is saying.
And it goes on just as long as is necessary to say what needs to be said.
- James Laughlin

To declaim freedom verses seems like a poem within a poem;
freedom requires guns,
it requires arms, but no feet.
- Franz Grillparzer


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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

 


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