Joy you say?

Whilst cleaning out my room the other day (not happily might I add) I stumbled upon my copy of e.e Cumming’s ‘95 poems’. In all honesty I had forgotten that I even owned this particular book of poetry, but upon rereading it I was reminded just why I do so love the way e.e cummings paints the world. To describe this world I would say that it is filled with broad haphazard brushstrokes, bright colours,  a vivid intensity and an obvious ‘joie de vivre’ that fills the pages. This book of new (at the time) poetry was the last published during Cummings’s own lifetime.

Cumming’s came to be known as one of the most innovative poets of the twentieth century and on a latter note, one of the most loved. He delights in skewering traditional poetic devices in order to put across the page, images that become truly visual to the reader. Almost like an x-ray of a patient you may say, he notes every little detail and is able to see past the physical (natural) world that he finds so much joy in,  into the spiritual reaches of man and life itself. A Cumming’s poem is precise you could say, every eccentrically placed word has a higher meaning. Some of the words he uses, he invented himself, often by combining two common words into an entirely new synthesis. His care for grammar and linguistic concerns only went so far as to how they could suit his own purposes.This is one of the things I personally love about him as an artist; his absolute disregard for conventional norms! Penberthy sums it up succinctly when she says, “Cummings’s achievement deserves acclaim. He established the poem as a visual object … ; he revealed, by his x-ray probings, the faceted possibilities of the single word; and like such prose writers as Vladimir Nabokov and Tom Stoppard, he promoted sheer playfulness with language. Despite a growing abundance of second-rate imitations, his poems continue to amuse, delight, and provoke.”

Here I am going to insert one of my favourite Cummings poems for you to savour and devour! 🙂

Dive for dreams

e.e Cummings

dive for dreams

or a slogan may topple you

(trees are their roots

and wind is wind)

trust your heart

if the seas catch fire

(and live by love

though the stars walk backward)

honour the past

but welcome the future

(and dance your death

away at the wedding)

never mind a world

with its villains or heroes

(for good likes girls and

tomorrow and the earth)

in spite of everything

which breathes and moves, since Doom

(with white longest hands neating each crease)

will smooth entirely our minds

-before leaving my room

i turn, and (stooping

through the morning) kiss

this pillow, dear

where our heads lived and were

silently if, out of not knowable

silently if, out of not knowable

night’s utmost nothing,wanders a little guess

(only which is this world)more my life does

not leap than with the mystery your smile sings

or if(spiralling as luminous
 they climb oblivion)voices who are dreams,

less into heaven certainly earth swims

than each my deeper death becomes your kiss

losing through you what seemed myself,

i find selves unimaginably mine;beyond

sorrow’s own joys and hoping’s very fears

yours is the light by which my spirit’s born:

yours is the darkness of my soul’s return

-you are my sun,my moon,and all my stars


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