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Still, By A. R. Ammons

I said I will find what is lowly
and put the roots of my identity
down there:
each day I'll wake up
and find the lowly nearby,
a handy focus and reminder,
a ready measure of my significance,
the voice by which I would be heard,
the wills, the kinds of selfishness
I could
freely adopt as my own:

but though I have looked everywhere,
I can find nothing
to give myself to:
everything is

magnificent with existence, is in
surfeit of glory:
nothing is diminished,
nothing has been diminished for me:


I said what is more lowly than the grass:
ah, underneath,
a ground-crust of dry-burnt moss:
I looked at it closely
and said this can be my habitat: but
nestling in I
found
below the brown exterior
green mechanisms beyond the intellect
awaiting resurrection in rain: so I got up

and ran saying there is nothing lowly in the universe:
I found a beggar:
he had stumps for legs: nobody was paying
him any attention: everybody went on by:
I nestled in and found his life:
there, love shook his body like a devastation:
I said
though I have looked everywhere
I can find nothing lowly
in the universe:

I whirled though transfigurations up and down,
transfigurations of size and shape and place:

at one sudden point came still,
stood in wonder:
moss, beggar, weed, tick, pine, self, magnificent
with being!


-- from Selected Poems, by A. R. Ammons

Poetry Chaikhana | Sacred Poetry from Around the World

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
athgarvan
Mar. 19th, 2016 09:48 am (UTC)
Lovely, lovely. Thank you.
bobby1933
Mar. 20th, 2016 05:06 pm (UTC)
It is that. :)
mamculuna
Mar. 19th, 2016 01:57 pm (UTC)
Beautiful and true.
bobby1933
Mar. 20th, 2016 05:07 pm (UTC)
Yes and yes, thank you.
cathy_edgett
Mar. 19th, 2016 03:00 pm (UTC)
I love this poem. Thank you for the reminder of wonder and appreciation.
bobby1933
Mar. 20th, 2016 05:07 pm (UTC)
I think i will soon post another.
reginaterrae
Mar. 21st, 2016 03:55 am (UTC)

Wow. That's pretty awesome!

amaebi
Mar. 21st, 2016 04:47 am (UTC)
Wow! I've always liked Ammons, but I'd never read this, and it slays me!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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