Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday Sonnet: cummings paints too

hate blows a bubble of despair

hate blows a bubble of despair into
hugeness world system universe and bang
-fear buries a tomorrow under woe
and up comes yesterday most green and young

pleasure and pain are merely surfaces
(one itself showing,itself hiding one)
life's only and true value neither is
love makes the little thickness of the coin

comes here a man would have from madame death
nevertheless now and without winter spring?
she'll spin that spirit her own fingers with
and give him nothing (if he should not sing)

how much more than enough for both of us
darling. And if i sing you are my voice,

e e cummings

After getting out of Harvard, cummings volunteered with a French ambulance service during World War One. A good friend of his attracted the attention of authorities who suspected he was spying and cummings stood by him, ending up in military detention himself. His father, a Harvard teacher, prevailed in efforts to get him freed.

After returning to the United States, cummings was drafted. That was in the middle of 1918 and that war didn't last much longer.

Whenever you read a poem that is ostensibly about love, I think it's important to recall that things aren't always only as they seem.

The poem deliberately ends with the comma, as do many other things. Things which are not declarative sentences.

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