"Their Sex Life"
One failure on
Top of another
A.R. Ammons is one of those men. Get some ice!
This is one of my favorite poems of all time from one of my favorite poets. One of the problems I have writing poetry is that I get caught up in flowery language and overwrought metaphors, and this poem explodes those expectations. Standing at only two lines and six words long, "Their Sex Life" is more than a little reminiscent of the six word stories attributed to Ernest Hemingway (the most famous of which goes: "For sale: Baby shoes, never worn"). Though the poem is certainly meant to be humorous, if you think about it too hard (which is my job as an English student), does the fact that the two participants in "Their Sex Life" are failures mean their sex life is bad? Could it be possible sex is their only positive outlet? What are they failing at specifically? Is A.R. Ammons poking fun at someone he knows? Is it me? OH GOD IS IT ME?
A.R. Ammons was dead for decade before I knew what sex was
and also we never met. STILL WORRIED.
Point is, much like Hemingway's six word stories, this poem packs a poignant literary punch in just a little space. Just how I like my writing. Brevity is the soul of wit, after all.