poems of e. e. cummings.
It’s one of my all-time favorite books, one of the few I’ve dragged with me just about everywhere for the last 5 years. It’s a book I’ve always read in transit; I read it commuting in and out of Boston, commuting to and from San Francisco, touring around London and again traveling around New York. No matter where I am, Cummings can always made me smile. His clever word play, love of April, spring and love warms my heart like fond memories of an unspoiled day.
Something fascinating about re-reading books, especially those I’ve read well with margin notes and shaky underlines, are the layers of familiarity in the text, because I have genuinely created a relationship to this book. My copy of 100 selected poems of e. e. cummings, ninth printing, first edition from 1959, is ragged and worn with dog-eared pages, cracked binding and yellowing paper. I feel like I grew up with this book and each time I read it, it’s significance shifts.
Tomorrow, I return home to California for Christmas and New Years. Reading e. e. cummings reminds me that home, that the familiar can be found in many places. There’s no single passage or poem that I can pull out and show you, saying, “See? This. This is home.” It’s the marks on the pages, the weight of it in my hands, the softness of the paper’s edges.
Here are a few lines that make my heart flutter:
if we love each(shyly)
other,what clouds do or Silently
Flowers resembles beauty
less than our breathing
the snow carefully everywhere descending
(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
And I love that he’s not weepy or empty in his writing of love: every poem is a wealth of life and death, and occasionally politics and religion. There is weight and there is lightness; depth and brevity. I love it because it’s as calm and decisive and free as I want to be.
Pick up this book. You won’t put it down.