Happy Holidays from Archie’s Home Country

a Christmas excerpt from Tape for the Turn of the Year


“Got to Leave” was originally published as part of the “17 Dec:” segment of Tape for the Turn of the Year (Norton, 1965). It was given this title for its appearance in Ammons’ collection The North Carolina Poems. In the expanded edition published by Broadstone Books (2010), it’s on pages 78-81. 
     In the complete “17 Dec:” segment, we find out that Archie has spent so long on his poem that he’s afraid he’ll miss getting a good tree for his family and should leave to get it, except he’s tired so he nearly takes a nap but instead winds up getting lost in memory and weather for the rest of this afternoon (continuing his poem), the tree to come on another day.