Nebraska Center for Writers

Chimney Rock What the Critics Say
About Steven P Schneider


AR Ammons and the Poetics of
Widening Scope
Copyright © 1994
by Steven P. Schneider
Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 1994

Steven P Schneider's careful examination of AR Ammons's poetry surveys the whole range of the great poet's work, which now spans four decades. Ammons, more than any other poet, exploits the way of science for an acutely lucid view of life. Schneider, more than any other critic, has what it takes — in biology, astronomy, optometry, quantum physics, and archeology — to make valuable comments on many of Ammons's most important writings. Readers ought to feel grateful. I know I do. — William Harmon
AR Ammons and the Poetics of Widening Scope marks a significant advance in the understanding not only of Ammons's canon but the entire tradition of visionary poetics. In associating the theory of optics he finds at work in Ammons's project with the enlightenment premises of literary transcendentalism. Steven Schneider has transformed our habitual angle of vision. — Donald E Pease

Prairie Air Show
Copyright © 2000
by Steven P Schneider
Hurakan P, 2000

Several of the poems particularly stand out. "Comings and Goings, Early July" is a two-stepped free verse piece with a persistent, quiet lyricism. "Garden Buddha" balances its unrhymed tercets with occasional interior rhyme, end-rhyming only in the couplet it concludes with: "when the gold fireflies of evening are lit/the Buddha is unflinching, content to sit." The collection's title poem has a masterful ring to it, and I think these two-stepped poems and the three in loose blank verse/free verse, show Schneider at his best. — Roy Scheele, Nebraska Territory

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