While I was an undergraduate at Cornell and well before my songwriting days, I had the good fortune of getting to know the late and great poet and two-time winner of the National Book Award, A.R. Ammons.
At the time, he was a professor of poetry at Cornell. Over several years, he mentored me in much and I was well-acquainted with his nature poetry well before I ever got to college, since I started writing poetry in my early teens.
In person, Ammons was a laid back, yet charismatic and very gentlemanly man. He would wave and chat with students, such as myself, while standing at his office door on the second floor of Goldwin Smith Hall. His eye for naturalistic details about life and his powerful literary voice have won many over to his amazing verse.
It was a thrill to be asked by show producer, William Craft, author of Soldier of the Skies, to interview Ammons for a talk show that was going to be televised from Ithaca, New York, “The Poet’s Cafe.” I came in to this interview with a strong acquaintance with his verse which I had started reading on my own in high school. So, in continuing honor of National Poetry Month, I am happy to share this interview (which is shared by CornellCast and is going on over 4,500 Youtube hits to date!) with you, and you can access it by clicking below.
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