On A.R. Ammons’ “Corsons Inlet”

As your anthology notes, Corson’s Inlet is in southern New Jersey; it is, according to the NJDEP, “one of the last undeveloped tracts of land along the state’s oceanfront. The area’s natural habitats are rich in the diversity of its wildlife with primary and secondary sand dune systems, shoreline overwash, marine estuaries and upland areas in which hundreds of wildlife species live and breed.”  Think about how this prose description relates to Ammons’ poetic description. 

Here’s an excerpt from an interview (conducted by Philip Fried) with Ammons about the composition of his poem:

PF: Do you write all your long poems in sequence?

Ammons: That’s right, I just begin. I do the same for the short poems; they’re written the same way. I never—I can show you some drafts—“Corsons Inlet,” that poem “Corsons Inlet” was written just like that, from beginning to end, in one sitting. I don’t recommend that as being better than anything else. I’m just saying that’s the way I did it. I came back to it, of course, and reconsidered it with my best judgment.

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