Archie Randolph Ammons

(18 February 1926 – 25 February 2001 / Whiteville, North Carolina)

Autonomy - Poem by Archie Randolph Ammons

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I am living without you because
of a terror, a farfetched
notion that I
can't live without you

which I must narrow down & quell,
for how can I live
worthy of you, in the
freedom of you limber engagements,

in the casual uptakes of your
sweetest compliances
if stricken in your presence
by what your absence stills:

to have you, I school myself
to let you go; how terrible
to buy that absence
before the fragrance of any presence comes:

but though I am living without
you, surely
I can't live
without you: the thought of

you hauls my heavy
body up,
floats me around,
gives my motions point, just the thought.


Comments about Autonomy by Archie Randolph Ammons

  • Gold Star - 12,931 Points Rajnish Manga (2/26/2015 2:45:00 AM)

    A poem where meeting and parting with beloved have turned into a dazzling display of naughty words to satiate the reader no end. How enjoyable these expressions are: .... how terrible / to buy that absence / before the fragrance of any presence comes. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Gold Star - 39,733 Points Aftab Alam Khursheed (2/26/2015 2:11:00 AM)

    Autonomy a nice poem all love thank you (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 3,664 Points Pranab K Chakraborty (2/26/2015 12:32:00 AM)

    to have you, I school myself
    to let you go; how terrible
    to buy that absence
    before the fragrance of any presence comes:

    Marvelous is only the word to appreciate such theory of self-torture dogma. Autonomy could not be granted as auto-extinction. Good post indeed. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 879 Points Leslie Philibert (2/26/2014 5:31:00 AM)

    Not a poem I like, even if Ammons was a established poet. For me, thin gruel; a poem that lives from emotions
    without the observed frame that transports emotions.. (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,292 Points Kevin Patrick (2/26/2013 4:23:00 PM)

    You cen feel the anguish in every word Ammos writes, the man seems to be writing about a relationship which has growing to become codependent, he both wants to seperate from a need to be himself but his autonamy is threatend by his neurosis of thinking he needs that person, fo fullfill himself. This is the catch 22 of love understanding that every relationship needs healthy boundries. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Aria Siren (2/26/2013 10:52:00 AM)

    daydreaming with this poem as my soundtrack. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, December 19, 2003

Poem Edited: Monday, January 23, 2012


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