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.
Thus, Expressions of Sea Level, like Ommateum, must be read as a vacillating experiment--sinusoidal, profoundly unlevel--in self-assertion and-desertion.
In 1955 Ammons published Ommateum
, his first book of poems, with Dorrance, a vanity press.
Berkeley in 1951, encouraging him to develop a "plan" (99) for the poems that would later make up his first collection, Ommateum
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.
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.
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.
send you my crazy-title 1955 book Ommateum
if you want to see it: I'd like to know where I stand--if I stand--with this group.