June 06, 2008

Late-ish, but still POETRY FRIDAY

I've always loved e.e. cummings, particularly when I was a teenager, and during a certain period he was a big influence on some of the (mostly awful) poetry I wrote. I'm not writing much poetry these days, but it's hard not to be inspired by the way he made the familiarities of our old language seem new, different, and young. So here's to youth, and poetry, and love, with a sonnet from old e.e.:




you shall above all things be glad and young
For if you're young,whatever life you wear

it will become you;and if you are glad
whatever's living will yourself become.
Girlboys may nothing more than boygirls need:
i can entirely her only love

whose any mystery makes every man's
flesh put space on;and his mind take off time

that you should ever think,may god forbid
and (in his mercy) your true lover spare:
for that way knowledge lies,the foetal grave
called progress,and negation's dead undoom.

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance



The last two lines get me every time. I also love "the foetal grave called progress"--whew. For more e.e. cummings, visit American Poems.

Today's Poetry Friday is hosted at Sarah Reinhard's blog. I'm already enjoying it, especially Jama Rattigan's wonderful reminder of the accidental poetry of George W. Bush.

Also, one last link for today--if you've missed the discussion about pay-to-play blog tours, get caught up at Chasing Ray. Interesting stuff.

6 comments:

Jules at 7-Imp said...

Oh, good stuff. I have always been in love with the last two lines of that poem, too.

Jules, 7-Imp

jama said...

Cummings is definitely one of my top 3 favorites. He's the reason I don't capitalize my signature :)!

writer2b said...

Somehow e e cummings makes amazing successes out of ingredients most of us (or at least, I) would produce "mostly awful" poems out of! I love this.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

I remember doing a mental double-take when I first read those last two lines. I focus on the negative more than I should. (See, I just did it again!)

Sara said...

Ah, and the best part is that it takes a lifetime for the bird to teach you even a fraction of the song he knows.

Cloudscome said...

Amen to that sara, and also to this: "if you are glad
whatever's living will yourself become" Ah