Another Obit Thread: Poet

A.R. Ammons died on Sunday in Ithaca, New York. He was 75.

He was born in North Carolina, earned degrees at Wake Forest and UC-Berkeley, worked as an elementary school principal, a real estate salesman, and a sales executive at a glass company. His poetry won him the Bollingen Prize, the Lily Prize, the Tanning Prize, and two National Book Awards, and he taught at Cornell University between 1964 and 1998.

Judging him only by his work, he seemed like an incredibly nice fellow. I would’ve liked to have met him…which I couldn’t say about Balthus or the Gilgamesh guy.


I tipped my head
to go under the
low boughs but

the sycamore mistook
my meaning and
bowed back.


It’s nice
after dinner
to walk down to
the beach

and find
the biggest
thing on earth
relatively calm.
More Ammons at

Thanks for making us aware of this Ike!
His poems are like candy (in a good way.) I read one. And i want the next one right away. But, the first one is even better if I reread it and savor it.
Thanks for pointing out a writer I haven’t heard of. And it looks like someone I want to learn more about.


Here the link is fixed.

Ah, give me a good dirty limerick anytime.

. . . Radie Harris, one of the last old-time Hollywood gossip columnists, also died, in her late 90s, this week . . .

Can I, Eve? Can I, Really?

::Slicks back his hair. Memorizes Nantucket rhymes::


As lights come on and daylight dims
I seek my peace in MPSIMS,
For there will joy and frolic ensue
In posts from Homer or Waterj2

But lo! what strikes my burdened wits
But Eve and Ike’s ten new obits.
From death of the famed, Lord, set me free!
Timor mortis conturbat me.

I thought I was obsessed with death. Then I met Eve and Ike, who are like Emmeline Grangerford. Thank you more making me seem (relatively) cheerful. :wink:

Aw, c’mon, ya spoilsports. I start a thread on Henry Darger and nobody comes to play. But only because he’s been dead for over twenty-five years!

Death is the KEY, man. How else could I have started threads on folks like Balthus and A.R. Ammons and gotten dozens of hits? From now on, any highbrow shit I pull, it’ll be about the Recently Deceased.

My father, my father, and dost thou not hear
What the Erl-King whispers in my ear? –
Be quiet, my darling, be quiet, my child;
Through withered leaves the wind howls wild.

– Goethe

Yeah, Eve and Ike. Enough with the banshee-like wailing about the deaths of actors and artists. How come you guys never post when some famous poet or actor gets born?

Drop—I have been locally known as the Queen of the Dead since I was a golden-curled tot, pattering around the ancestral manse in my pink nightie, merrily clipping obits from the Philadelphia Bulletin. I now have four filing cabinet drawersful . . .

Hey, anyone know that 1940s deadpan singer Virginia O’Brien died a coupla weeks ago?

…and Sir Donald Bradman, the Cootamundra-born Greatest Player in the History of Cricket?

So, I’m not the ONLY person who turns to the obits first. And not just to see if I’m listed (one can never be too sure). I suppose I should be glad I’m not alone in that.