The Planet on the Screen: Scales of Belonging in A. R. Ammons's Sphere

The Planet on the Screen: Scales of Belonging in A. R. Ammons's Sphere S U S A N N A H L. H O L L I S T E R A. R. Ammons ends his book-length poem Sphere: The Form of a Motion (1974) where his idea for it began--with the image of the earth seen from space. More than twenty years after writing the poem, he recalled the effect of the image's appearance: Sphere had the image of the whole earth, then for the first time seen on television, at its center. . . . There was the orb. And it seemed to me the perfect image to put at the center of a reconciliation of One-Many forces. While I had had sort of philosophical formulations for the One-Many problem before, the earth seemed to be the actual body around which these forces could best be represented. So when I began Sphere, I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to kind of complete that process, that marriage of the OneMany problem with the material earth. (Set in Motion 103) The Apollo space program gave Ammons the metaphor he had long sought: a vehicle that combined the variety of the physical world into a single, unified object. The http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Literature University of Wisconsin Press

The Planet on the Screen: Scales of Belonging in A. R. Ammons's Sphere

Contemporary Literature, Volume 50 (4) – Jun 13, 2009

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University of Wisconsin Press
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Abstract

S U S A N N A H L. H O L L I S T E R A. R. Ammons ends his book-length poem Sphere: The Form of a Motion (1974) where his idea for it began--with the image of the earth seen from space. More than twenty years after writing the poem, he recalled the effect of the image's appearance: Sphere had the image of the whole earth, then for the first time seen on television, at its center. . . . There was the orb. And it seemed to me the perfect image to put at the center of a reconciliation of One-Many forces. While I had had sort of philosophical formulations for the One-Many problem before, the earth seemed to be the actual body around which these forces could best be represented. So when I began Sphere, I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to kind of complete that process, that marriage of the OneMany problem with the material earth. (Set in Motion 103) The Apollo space program gave Ammons the metaphor he had long sought: a vehicle that combined the variety of the physical world into a single, unified object. The

Journal

Contemporary LiteratureUniversity of Wisconsin Press

Published: Jun 13, 2009

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