An Image For Longing begins just prior to the first, self-published appearance of Ommateum
, and it closes shortly after Collected Poems 1951-1971 and Sphere: The Form of a Motion were released by his longtime publisher, W.
The imagines are characterized by the following character combination: Ommateum
with setae; antenna with 12 clavola; Wing vein R2+3 absent, squama without setae; mid and hind tibiae with one tibial spur; inferior volsella approximatively triangular, curved apically.
Ammons's first book, Ommateum
(1955), is particularly sensitive to this constant vulnerability, this risk confronting the self inside a potentially overwhelming world, when that self endeavors to speak.
In 1955 Ammons published Ommateum
, his first book of poems, with Dorrance, a vanity press.
In addition, Kirschten concentrates on Ammons's Ommateum
and Dickey's The Eye-Beaters, Blood, Victory, Madness, and Buckhead and Mercy in an investigation of myth and religion.
Kirschten begins his study by focusing on several poems from Ammons's Ommateum
, which should win a prize for being one of the most neglected first books by a major poet (it sold only sixteen copies in five years after its 1955 printing).
Such preoccupations pervade Ammons's canon - from his earliest volume, Ommateum
, to his latest, Garbage - but register their strongest signal in Sphere.
His first volume, Ommateum
(1955), attracted no notice, but in the 1960s Ammons' career took a quantum leap.
Several poems evoke the kind of stark, elemental landscapes that Ammons had explored in Ommateum
, including Stephen Stepanchev's "Lizard in the Sun" and Robert Hazel's "Death in Oregon.
Berkeley in 1951, encouraging him to develop a "plan" (99) for the poems that would later make up his first collection, Ommateum
Ammons followed a tip from Milton Kessler, whom he met at Bread Loaf Writers' Conference in 1961, put off Williams by invoking commitments made there, and published his first book (apart from Ommateum
, which was published by a vanity press) with Ohio State University Press in 1963.
Also, the "I said" of Ommateum
continues on, often, as a mannerism--i.