National Poetry Month – A. R. Ammons (April 16)

He Held Radical Light

by A. R. Ammons

He held radical light
as music in his skull: music
turned, as
over ridges immanences of evening light
rise, turned
back over the furrows of his brain
into the dark, shuddered,
shot out again
in long swaying swirls of sound:

reality had little weight in his transcendence
so he
had trouble keeping
his feet on the ground, was
terrified by that
and liked himself, and others, mostly
under roofs:
nevertheless, when the
light churned and changed

his head to music, nothing could keep him
off the mountains, his
head back, mouth working,
wrestling to say, to cut loose
from the high, unimaginable hook:
released, hidden from stars, he ate,
burped, said he was like any one
of us: demanded he
was like any one of us.

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2 thoughts on “National Poetry Month – A. R. Ammons (April 16)

    1. Like you said, it’s something about the first stanza, or really the first line/title. It really grabbed me. I didn’t love the rest of the poem, but that title was enough for me to post it and see what everyone else thought!

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