Archie Randolph Ammons | Critical Essay by Robert Phillips

This literature criticism consists of approximately 2 pages of analysis & critique of Archie Randolph Ammons.
This section contains 480 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Robert Phillips

Ammons' work is almost always about man in nature, attempting to make the visible yield the visionary. His writing, Harold Bloom reminds us, confirms his "vital continuities with the central Whitmanian tradition of our poetry."

I could take issue with the Whitman parallel. Of course Ammons writes pastoral poetry, of the common man, and frequently achieves the mystical. But Ammons' voice and line and vision are ultimately anti-Whitmanesque. His poems are nearly always brief, his lines nearly always narrow. He does not conduct self-interviews, and he never sermonizes. Moreover, he has never attempted a real epic. (His longest poems are his lightest.) Rather than attempt to change the reader's life, he is content to report, vividly, what he has felt and seen.

This makes Ammons sound simple. He is not. Often, in the course of a brief poem, he will zig-zag wildly away from a...

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This section contains 480 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Robert Phillips
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Critical Essay by Robert Phillips from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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