Saturday, February 04, 2006

ee cummings installation one

Despite the trauma that was high school poetry analysis, which I am still so bitter about, I did in fact develop a love for poetry, or at least some poetry. In high school they make you analyze poetry, and the teachers and professors test you on your analysis, telling you that, no, the way you see this poem is not in fact "correct," but very, very wrong. Thus, you fail because you did not see this poem in the "way you're supposed to." I have never agreed with this view point, and while I obviously don't think you can just pull something out of your ass and call it the meaning of a poem, there are different ways a poem can be seen. Perspectives and opinions on poems differ from reader-to-reader. Yes, the poet clearly had specific ideas in mind while writing the poem, but that does not mean that a reader can see the meaning in a variant manner. That is why many consider poetry to be like art - "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." (Sorry, I had to include a cliche at one point. Please forgive me.)

One of my favorite poets is ee cummings. I have always enjoyed his writing, especially his interesting poetry structures, use of punctuation and charming lack of capital letters. I bought Selected Poems: ee cummings several years ago, but the pieces therein never fail to amaze and surprise me. With each subsequent reading, something new emerges from the patterns of letters and phrases, which is why reading his poems is unfailingly entertaining and mentally stimulating. I also believe that ee cummings is one of the poets that truly captures love, or at least how I think of love. With that in mind, I have included one of my favorite poems of his below. I'm not going to sit here and analyze it because, well, that would be like high school all over again. I am merely including it for your reading pleasure, and you can take from it what you will.

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without
it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

ee cummings


At 6:35 PM, Blogger Kate said...

ah, cummings. i'm so glad you posted this lovely poem...and that you recovered from high school poetry.
do you know the poet gregory orr? he's my favorite. pick up "burning the empty nests" or "the caged owl" next time you're at a bookstore.
great post!

At 4:35 PM, Anonymous Kate's Dad said...

Great blog, Lex. I was very fortunate to hear mr cummings read his own works to a hushed audience of college students in the early '60s. He was a soft-spoken man in his 60s, looking all the while like a banker or business excutive in his dark, grey suit. He read his distinctive and piercing poems with understated precision, which made us gasp when we heard his rythms and felt the missing punctuation. We applauded, wildly, and he just smiled his quiet smile and waited for us to finish so he could read another poem. We listened and learned.


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