Glass

By A. R. Ammons 1926–2001
The song
sparrow puts all his
saying
into one
repeated song:
what
 
variations, subtleties
he manages,
to encompass denser
meanings, I’m
too coarse
to catch: it’s
 
one song, an over-reach
from which
all possibilities,
like filaments,
depend:
killing,
 
nesting, dying,
sun or cloud,
figure up
and become
song—simple, hard:
removed.

A. R. Ammons, “Glass” from Collected Poems: 1951-1971. Copyright © 1965 by A. R. Ammons. Reprinted by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Source: Collected Poems: 1951-1971 (W. W. Norton and Company Inc., 1972)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet A. R. Ammons 1926–2001

Subjects Nature, Animals, Arts & Sciences, Music

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 A. R. Ammons

Biography

A. R. Ammons was born in rural North Carolina, and his experiences growing up on a cotton and tobacco farm during the Great Depression inspired a great deal of the poet's work. Ammons wrote his first poems while serving aboard a Navy destroyer during World War II. After the war, he completed his education, then held a variety of jobs before beginning his teaching career at Cornell University in 1964. Ammons once told the . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Animals, Arts & Sciences, Music

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.