65 Followers
41 Following
Leopard

Leopard

Currently reading

Taiga?s True Views: The Language of Landscape Painting in Eighteenth-Century Japan by Melinda Takeuchi (1994-06-01)
Melinda Takeuchi
The History of England, Vol 2
David Hume
The History of Scepticism: From Savonarola to Bayle
Richard H. Popkin
Cicero: On Moral Ends (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy)
Marcus Tullius Cicero, Raphael Woolf, Julia Annas
Das Goldene Vlies: Dramatisches Gedicht in Drei Abteilungen
Franz Grillparzer
Euripides IV: Rhesus / The Suppliant Women / Orestes / Iphigenia in Aulis
Charles R. Walker, Frank William Jones, William Arrowsmith, David Grene, Euripides, Richmond Lattimore
Notes from Underground & The Double
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Jesse Coulson
The World of Thought in Ancient China
Benjamin I. Schwartz
The Last Generation of the Roman Republic
Erich S. Gruen
The Legend of Gold and Other Stories
William J. Tyler, Jun Ishikawa, Ishikawa Jun
Uplands - A.R. Ammons A.R. Ammons (1926 - 2001), like so many contemporary American poets, was for most of his adult life a university professor (in his case, 34 years at Cornell), since poets must eat but poets do not sell. Archie had a fairly successful career - he won the National Book Award twice, the National Book Critics Circle Award and also the Bollingen Prize - if such things are the mark of a successful career. Harold Bloom championed Ammons as a transcendentalist: "the most direct Emersonian in American poetry since Frost"; well, maybe, but not in this collection of poems. Uplands is a relatively early entry (1970) into Ammons oeuvre , written during a particularly productive period culminating in his prematurely named Collected Poems, 1951-1971 , for which he received his first National Book Award. In the merely 68 pages of this collection the poems range from a few lines to the 16-page "Summer Session", about which more later. In theme, line and stanza form the poems also manifest a broad range. Perhaps Ammons was testing himself or stretching himself. But because of this range, it is not possible to give a characterization of these poems in a short review. However, I can say that although there are some rather earnest descriptive poems, he is often playful, and in his play sometimes ironic, sometimes bitter, sometimes just enjoying word play. Here's an excerpt from "Guitar Recitavos": I can tell you what I think of your beauty, baby,you have it, it's keen and fast, there's this glittery sword whipping about your head all dayand, baby, you make people snap - you condescendand a surprised little heart splatters or you turn yourcold head away and a tiny freeze kills a few cells in some man's brain - I mean, baby, you may be kind but your beauty, sweetie, is suchmany a man would run himself through forhating your guts every minute that he died for you(If there is a lonesome "your" not at the end of the preceding line, it is an artifact of GR's formatting.) From "Needs": I want something suited to my special needsI want chrome hubcaps, pin-on attachmentsand year round use year after yearI want a workhorse with smooth uniform cut,dozer blade and snow blade & deluxe steering wheelI want something to mow, throw snow, tow and sow with[...](The lonesome "wheel" is Ammons' artifact.)"Summer Session 1968" ends the book and is a ragbag of a professor's summertime life. Later he would write well-received book length poems. Here is a taste of his play in this poem:I'm 42:the rank & file haso'errucked me & cloddled on:I'm not goingany longer officiallyto delay my emergence:I want the head of the matter tomove out of skinny closure:I want a pumping, palpable turgidity:I want the condition to take on flare:I want manifestation silk-dry:Yes, he loves his colons...I might have over-emphasized the play aspect of this book, but I find the earnest poems in this collection to be less felicitous. Though Ammons was well received by the literary establishment, I don't see anything really compelling in this book. But it is sometimes entertaining...