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
to walk down to
thing on earth
More Ammons at http://www.wilmington.org/poets/ammons/html