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The City Limits Essay

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In the following essay, Hoffman and Sutro examine the canon of Ammons's work in the tradition of American Romantic poetry.

A. R. Ammons is an American Romantic in the tradition of Emerson and Whitman. He is committed to free and open forms and to the amassing of the exact details experience provides rather than to the extrusion from it of any a priori order. His favorite subject is the relation of a man to nature as perceived by a solitary wanderer along the beaches and rural fields of New Jersey, where Ammons grew up. Because of the cumulative nature of his technique, Ammons's work shows to best advantage in poems of some magnitude. Perhaps the best, and best known, of these is the title poem from Corsons Inlet, in which, describing a walk along a tidal stream, the speaker says,

I was released from forms,
from the perpendiculars...

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This section contains 1,103 words
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Poetry for Students
The City Limits from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.