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A.R. Ammons

 I said I will find what is lowly

 and put the roots of my identity

 down there:

 each day I'll wake up

 and find the lowly nearby,

 a handy focus and reminder,

 a ready measure of my significance,

 the voice by which I would be heard,

 the wills, the kinds of selfishness

 I could

 freely adopt as my own:


 but though I have looked everywhere,

 I can find nothing

 to give myself to:

 everything is


 magnificent with existence, is in

 surfeit of glory:

 nothing is diminished,

 nothing has been diminished for me:


 I said what is more lowly than the grass:

 ah, underneath,

 a ground-crust of dry-burnt moss:

 I looked at it closely

 and said this can be my habitat: but

 nestling in I


 below the brown exterior

 green mechanisms beyond the intellect

 awaiting resurrection in rain: so I got up


 and ran saying there is nothing lowly in the universe:

 I found a beggar:

 he had stumps for legs: nobody was paying

 him any attention: everybody went on by:

 I nestled in and found his life:

 there, love shook his body like a devastation:

 I said

 though I have looked everywhere

 I can find nothing lowly

 in the universe:


 I whirled though transfigurations up and down,

 transfigurations of size and shape and place:


 at one sudden point came still,

 stood in wonder:

 moss, beggar, weed, tick, pine, self, magnificent

 with being!




 ~ A. R. Ammons

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