Yesterday February 18th was A. R. Ammons' birthday and I completely forgot.
Not too long ago I discovered Ammons' first book Ommateum: With Doxology and it was a revelation to me. It was unlike anything I had ever read before yet the language was still so simple, uncluttered, and mysterious. At the time I was trying out a bunch of new things with my writing but I wasn't sure where it all fit and had no idea how to proceed but reading Ommateum got me unstuck. Now there are a few books I always turn to when I have writer's block: pretty much anything by Dean Young and Ommateum by A. R. Ammons. Happy belated birthday, Archie.
On The Best American Poetry blog, they've posted a poem that David Lehman wrote in 1982 to celebrate Ammons' birthday. Read "A Toast for Archie's Birthday" here.