i was just thinking of him today
e.e. cummings is one of my favorite poets of the twentieth century.
My favorite poem of his is somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond:
thank you for this thread
and for your choice of what to remember him by
How wonderful, Ilsa. I didn’t know that about you.
Sometimes I lament the poverty of mind that is our common media. All that silliness on the tube, the emptiness by paper. And barely a reference to the honest beauty of the human mind. Hardly an epitaph to be found.
Thank you for sharing. Your heart is much too big for that poem to be about you, though. If it’s not too personal, why do you like it so much?
I love E. E. Cummings. (Someone will eventually drop in just to correct you, Ilsa.) A few years ago I was doing some factchecking for an encyclopedia and one of the jobs was the E.E. Cummings biographical sketch. I became fascinated with him an return often to his poems.
Here’s a piece of one of my favorites, maggie and milly and molly and may.
I like Cummings for the same reason I like the Imagists in general (I consider Cummings to be the spiritual offspring of the Imagists.) I didn’t really like poetry much until I was introduced to the Imagists. Their rejection of the standards of form and meter and diction yield some amazing poetry. The poetry of Cummings, as well as that of Pound, Lowell, Williams, etc. has a simple elegance, an uncomplicated grace that belies its expressions of profundity. Adherence in spirit and in form to MaCleish’s “no ideas but in things” yields some beautiful poetry.
I like somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond mainly due to an admiration of its aesthetic qualities. For me, the poem is one of the highlights of Cummings’ ability to paint with words, a fragile but intense description of beauty.
It reminds me of a passage from Joyce’s A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man:
The poem, along with Pound’s *In A Station Of The Metro:
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.*
and William Carlos Williams’ *The Red Wheelbarrow:
so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white
form my poetic touchstones.
There is a reason for the expression “a picture is worth a thousand words.” The ability to communicate so much with a picture from a few words really amazes and humbles me.
Another poem by Cummings that captures the simple joy of being alive:
One of my favorite things is to read his words out loud. To me, anyone lived in a pretty how town is a lyric poem. It’s like a hymn. I can feel it in my chest.
It’s funny you should feel this way, lissener. Like Cummings’s, I believe that your voice is remarkably, uniquely evocative. I sometimes speak your posts because of it.
this is lovely
perhaps i should
read more poetry
i wish i could
distill my observations
Wow. Thank you. It’s true that ever since my twin obsessions with Joyce and Shakespeare, I find that I almost unconsciously choose my phrasing with rhythm and flow as an impetus. Not always, of course, but I do find myself choosing a word based on the number of syllables and even things like internal rhyme; even when I’m pitting someone. I hardly notice it myself any more; I’m extremely surprised that anyone else notices it.
here’s to opening and upward, to leaf and to sap
and to your(in my arms flowering so new)
self whose eyes smell of the sound of rain
and here’s to silent certainly mountains;and to
a disappearing poet of always,snow
and to morning;and to morning’s beautiful friend
twilight(and a first dream called ocean)and
let must or if be damned with whomever’s afraid
down with ought with because with every brain
which thinks it thinks,nor dares to feel(but up
with joy;and up with laughing and drunkenness)
here’s to one undiscoverable guess
of whose mad skill each world of blood is made
(whose fatal songs are moving in the moon