Chief WorksA casual verse anthem to the dynamics of nature, "The City Limit" (1971) demonstrates Ammons' ability to match an emotion with reality. In a straightforward rhetoric achieved through five parallel adverb clauses and an answer begun at the end of line 14, the poet observes the rightness of nature. Robustly assertive, he imposes a rigid graphic discipline on observations of a power he names "the radiance." The resultant equilibrium between natural cycles of decay and reemergence offsets a fear wrought by "the glow-blue / bodies and gold-skeined wings of flies swarming the dumped / guts of a natural slaughter." Beyond the haphazard urban "coil of shit" that defines "the city limits," his facile creation of glory out of garbage leads naturally to the "May bushes" and a restrained praise for order.
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