THIS (2017)


Text by A. R. Ammons

Total duration ca. 2'

Single movement work


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In his perceptive and sometimes almost forensic style of writing, the poet and biologist A. R. Ammons reveals truths in the form of simple observations, clinically delivered. Many of the 'really short' poems by Ammons, consisting of no more than a handful of words, tackle existential questions with the concise precision of a scalpel. In the case of "THIS," the poem's title serves as the single sentence's grammatical object, a broad sweep gesturing at everything around us, which will be completely obliterated by the changes wrought by time. In such a tiny poem, Ammons destroys the whole earth, suggesting, in the scale of the poem, the scale of our own lives against the enormity of the infinite.

“This” from THE REALLY SHORT POEMS OF A. R. AMMONS, by A.R. Ammons Copyright © 1990 by A.R. Ammons. Used by permission of W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.