Saturday, April 26, 2008

BillyBlog's Favorite Poems, #5 ("Garbage" by A.R. Ammons)

Like Robinson Jeffers, A.R. "Archie" Ammons was likewise under appreciated, in my opinion. I had the pleasure of hearing him read once in the late 1990s. His work was quirky and complicated. I wrote several pale poems after A.R. Ammons. I am not a big fan of long poems, but his I will read.
In fact, his Tape for the Turn of the Year (written on an space-constricting adding machine tape) and Garbage are works of sheer brilliance. The latter won the National Book Award (his second time grabbing that honor) in 1993.

Bookslut recommends this book and I have lifted this brief excerpt of Garbage here. The whole damn book is worthy of cracking the top 5 favorite poems on my list...

from "Garbage"

gather up the scraps for pig-swill: anything
thrown out to the chickens will be ground fine

in gizzards or taken underground by beetles and
ants: this will be transmuted into the filigree

of ant feelers' energy vaporizations: chunk and
smear, grease and glob will boil refined in

time's and guts' alembics, the air carbonized
rich, potash in lacy leavings' milding terrain:

a breadcrumb borne away by hundreds like a stone
waist-high many legs to the pyramid: but nothing

much can become of the clear-through plastic
lid: it finds security in the legit

museums of our desecrations--the mounds, the
heights of discard . . .

Click on the Bookslut link here to read a much worthier analysis of the poem.

Previous Favorite Poems for National Poetry Month:

#6 - "Rock and Hawk" by Robinson Jeffers
#7 - "Nostalgia" by Billy Collins
#8 - "A Piece of the Storm" by Mark Strand
#9A - "The Colonel" by Carolyn Forché and
#9B - "may i feel said he" by e.e.cummings

#10 - "After Making Love We Hear Footsteps" by Galway Kinnell
#11 - "Symposium" by Paul Muldoon
#12 - "Poem for the Class of..." by Max Eberts
#13 - "Boss of the Food" by Lois-Ann Yamanaka
#14 - "Lady Lazarus" by Sylvia Plath
#15 - "One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop
#16 - "Buddhist Barbie" by Denise Duhamel
#17 - "One Train May Hide Another" by Kenneth Koch
#18 - "Poem (Lana Turner Has Collapsed!) by Frank O'Hara (with Audio)
#19 - "Crumbs" by Hal Sirowitz (Audio Added)
#20 - "This Is Just to Say" by William Carlos Williams
#21 - "They Feed They Lion" by Philip Levine
#22 - "Looking at Kilauea" by Garret Hongo
#23 - "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" by Randall Jarrell (Audio Added)
#24 - A Handful of Richard Brautigan
#25 - "A Buddha in the Woodpile" by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
#26 - "Separation" by W.S. Merwin
#27 - "The Flea" by John Donne
#28 - Poem Twenty from Pablo Neruda's Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair
#29 - "Magpie's Song" by Gary Snyder
#30 - "Eunoia" by Christian Bok

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