Tagged: skies may be blue;yes

Complete Poems 1904-1962

complete poems 1904-1962 e e cummings liveright publishing corp 1994Complete Poems 1904-1962 by E.E. Cummings, edited by George J. Firmage, 5/5

By turns beautiful and baffling, these poems seem less made to be read than absorbed. Many passages that stoutly resisted my best attempts at analysis revealed their meaning at a careless second glance, like stepping back from a painting far enough for the brushstrokes to blend together. Brushing aside petty rules of grammatical convention, Cummings covers the whole spectrum of poetic possibility, from grotesque to delicate, brutal to erotic (sometimes both at the same time–no judgment here), simple to incomprehensible.

Here’s one of my favorites that captures most of the things I love about Cummings:

the great advantage of being alive
(instead of undying)is not so much
that mind no more can disprove than prove
what heart may feel and soul may touch
–the great(my darling)happens to be
that love are in we,that love are in we

and here is a secret they never will share
for whom create is less than have
or one times one than when times where–
that we are in love,that we are in love:
with us they’ve nothing times nothing to do
(for love are in we am in i are in you)

this world(as timorous itsters all
to call their cowardice quite agree)
shall never discover our touch and feel
–for love are in we are in love are in we;
for you are and i am and we are(above
and under all possible worlds)in love

a billion brains may coax undeath
from fancied fact and spaceful time–
no heart can leap,no soul can breathe
but by the sizeless truth of a dream
whose sleep is the sky and the earth and the sea.
For love are in you am in i are in we

 

Why I read it: I hoped to find more poems like his famous “i carry your heart with me,” which I did!  The following poem reminded me of it most because of its sweetness and simplicity:

skies may be blue;yes
(when gone are hail and sleet and snow)
but bluer than my darling’s eyes,
spring skies are no

hearts may be true;yes
(by night or day in joy or woe)
but truer than your lover’s is,
hearts do not grow

nows may be new;yes
(as new as april’s first hello)
but new as this our thousandth kiss,
no now is so

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