A. R. Ammons, 1978
POETRY MISCELLANY: In "Pray Without Ceasing," you talk about "tensions sprung free / into event." And "Saliences" talks about the "one event that / creates present time / in the multi-variable / scope." The "event" and "eventuality" figure prominently in "Essay on Poetics," too. It seems to me this is a useful way to begin responding to your poems--they have the character of "events" they use "events" as opposed to concepts or abstract ideas. Even words like "suasion," "salience," "periphery" must be described in terms of "events" from which they emerge. In fact, on one level "events" are modes of emergence of meaning, experience, perception, aren't they? Could you begin to "weave" some further descriptions of the nature of events?
A. R. AMMONS: Not only is the finished poem about an event, but the making of it is an event as well. I am probably extemalizing a sense of forces and events from an interior recognition of things that are happening; probably extemalizing them onto the environment and then onto analogous situations in the environment. The emergence of the poem is often unexpected, though the poet may be under durance of heavy tension--those interior forces. There's a certain undefined anxiety before the poet recognizes that two or three things come together in the mind that create an unexpected conjunction which is integrated and expressive at the same time. The poet consequently feels the release of himself into this "event."