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By A. R. Ammons

I wonder if I know enough to know what it’s really like

to have been here: have I seen sights enough to give

seeing over: the clouds, I’ve waited with white

October clouds like these this afternoon often before and


taken them in, but white clouds shade other white

ones gray, had I noticed that: and though I’ve

followed the leaves of many falls, have I spent time with

the wire vines left when frost’s red dyes strip the leaves


away: is more missing than was never enough: I’m sure

many of love’s kinds absolve and heal, but were they passing

rapids or welling stirs: I suppose I haven’t done and seen

enough yet to go, and, anyway, it may be way on on the way


before one picks up the track of the sufficient, the

world-round reach, spirit deep, easing and all, not just mind

answering itself but mind and things apprehended at once

as one, all giving all way, not a scrap of question holding back.


Notes:

Published by permission of John Ammons c/o Writers’ Representatives LLC, New York, NY.

Source: Poetry (September 2017)

  • Living
  • Love
  • Nature

Poet Bio

A. R. Ammons
The wonderfully varied poetry of A. R. Ammons reflects his lifelong interest in science; landscapes, animals, biological processes, and even the weather typically provide the raw materials for his philosophical meditations. An heir of the American transcendentalists Emerson and Thoreau, who sought in nature clues to an ultimate metaphysical reality, he also has affinities with Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams. A self-deprecating, countrified humor marks both his short, personal lyrics and experimental longer poems. One longer poem, Tape for the Turn of the Year, was written entirely on adding-machine tape. See More By This Poet

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