Thursday, June 9, 2011

as small as a world and as large as alone

ee cummings is one of the more popular American poets of the 20th century. Like his name, most of his poems are written in lowercase letters. Cummings also uses eccentric punctuation, intentional misspellings, and unconventional grammar.

I had an ee cummings children’s book when I was young titled, “in Just-spring” that I loved and it’s pretty likely that Grammy still has the book (which would be a collector’s item, I’m sure).

Lots of ee cummings poems are best real aloud. The poem below is titled “maggie and molly and mille and may” and I should warn you that it will make you want to go to the beach (if for no other reason than to find yourself). But, hey, it looks like summer has finally arrived, so beach trips should be imminent!

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles, and

millie befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles: and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea
-ee cummings