I was watching
a chipmunk on my backyard deck. It was chewing away on a crocus bulb that it
had taken from the box of them I had left there unplanted. I thought of our
current model poem, "&
sun &" by E.E. Cummings from his 100
It's a poem I first encountered in high school - where most of us first saw Cummings's poems. They were odd. They were different. And inevitably a few class poets would begin to eschew capitalization and punctuation in their poems. A very influential poet to adolescents. Also a poet often dismissed by readers when they are older.
grammar were his tools and toys. The critics never loved him as much as readers.
Yet, he survives.
Later, a few students would pick up the big Complete Poems from my shelf and begin to skim. They always seemed disappointed to find so many "regular poems" in the book. But then they'd find
anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did
or a poem titled
and a stanza that said
in love and flowers pick themselves
and they always seemed happy to read those poems. What more can I ask of him or them?
Your turn. Let words be toys and tools again. Play with the grammar, capitalization, spelling, word order, spacing and typography - but play for a reason.
See Paintings by Cummings and More of his poetry
(wind, you know)
'round mounds of trash,
maybe not some walk
finding shelter in gangways,
away from the freeze to a safe place,
un-breezy place to smoke,
pop, sniff or
gulp in chicago
(wind, you know)
MOTHER AND DAUGHTER
"Singing is speech slowed down." Marshall McLuhan
in the garden gone wild
at summer's end
I can hear the singing
all around me.
The desire of the moth
for the star.
The plant's roots singing
for the deep water.
The bird's blind song
of the day past.
(fifteen feet wide and twice as deep)
in mass yet
remarkably light to hold.
spending half the night
I tried to harmonize
only to discover that we were all singing
like constellated stars,
my own figure
at the wrists.
"The futures not ours to see."
the p re cognition
s oft in
Time was music with Lily...
something played early...
the aroma of coffee brewing over a small fire...
And the slow slow jazz of waking when...
Lily was inspired...
music became light...
there in the clearing where she danced...
Her feet through the leaves like...
small brooms sweeping time...
Andrew R Cohen