Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Poetry Slam Tuesdays: Where Flowers Pick Themselves

For this week's poetry slam, I decided to search the bookshelves at home for inspiration among my mother's poetry collections, and as expected, they did not disappoint.

Today's poem is from E.E. Cummings' Collected Poems, 1922-1938. (Poem No. 73, to be exact.)

It's the perfect poem to read on a screened-in porch on a gorgeous May day, which is exactly what I just did.

I wouldn't mind going to this city in the sky, filled with pretty people:

who knows if the moon's
a balloon,coming out of a keen city
in the sky—filled with pretty people?
(and if you and i should

get into it,if they
should take me and you into their balloon,
why then
we'd go up higher with all the pretty people

than houses and steeples and clouds:
go sailing
away and away sailing into a keen
city which nobody's ever visited,where

               Spring)and everyone's
in love and flowers pick themselves

I'm equally in love with his introduction to this collection, which begins with, "The poems to come are for you and for me and are not for mostpeople—it's no use trying to pretend that mostpeople and ourselves are alike." And yes, he wrote "most people" as "mostpeople," because when you're E.E. Cummings (and sometimes e.e. cummings) you can do whatever you want, like not spacing after punctuation marks (see above) and pushing two words together as one, and it's probably going to be terrific.

 I'll leave you with his ending statement in the introduction.

Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question

1 comment:

  1. I wanted to be this guy so very badly when I was in high school. I got pretty darn good at emulating him, but I'm glad that I moved on from this phase.

    His playful approach to language has always stuck with me, regardless. Doesn't it read like he loved life more than anyone you've met?

    One of my favorites: http://eecummings.tumblr.com/post/108746206/if-ups-the-word-and-a-world-grows-greener-minute