Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Mom's atrium oasis ~ 7.16.11
"In nature there are few sharp lines."
~ A.R. Ammons (1926-2001)

Archie Randolph Ammons began writing poetry while serving on a US Navy destroyer during WWII. Following military service, Ammons attended Wake Forest University where he majored in science and completed his graduate work in English at UC Berkeley.

After graduation, he was employed as the principal of the tiny elementary school on the island village of Cape Hatteras. Ammons followed this career, with work as a sales executive in his father-in-law's biological glass company on the southern New Jersey shore. 

Since it was difficult to get books published in the 50's, Ammons published his first book, Ommateum, at his own expense (in 1955). He sold only sixteen copies over a five year period. Ammons got his literary break after joining the English faculty at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, in 1964. 

When his second poetry collection was published, Ammons experienced significant attention, as he went from total obscurity to wide acclaim. His Collected Poems 1951-1971 (New York, 1972), won the National Book Award in 1973, with this period of his life being considered his most productive writing cycle.

What an incredible story of transformation!! Ammons' story demonstrates how a combination of interests (nature, writing) transformed a person from salesman to college professor to published poet. 

Originally, I intended my blog post to find a quote to highlight my photo! I didn't anticipate researching the quote's author to find out more about Ammons background. What a transformation for my blog post!  

Do your blog posts EVER take a different directions than your original idea?


  1. Isn't it crazy where our minds take us? This morning after reading Elena's email and post I came up with a brilliant idea for a blog hop that took me all day to put up because I attempted my first blog button. I did not plan any of what I ended up doing today.

    Heading to Atlanta this weekend to help my friend I'm sending your way. I'm not happy about it either. :-( Except one day I will get to meet you.

  2. ha! ha! I'm frittered away the better part of my day too! experiencing a bit of sadness, thinking my summer break is slipping away. I too will be off - will see my daughters in the Bay Area (south of San Francisco).
    AND - of course, you must come to SLO (SLOW - tell your friend that's how it is pronounced) Town! it would be great fun to meet you! will she be a professor? if so, what will she teach?



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...