[lit-ideas] Re: Poetry x 2 = Sabbatical

  • From: JimKandJulieB@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 4 Nov 2006 07:47:45 EST

This is absolutely my favourite of his.  And what do I care about  lower vs. 
uper case letters or who determined them?
_Click here: i thank  You God for most this amazing_ 
  XAIPE, 65

 i thank You God for most this amazing
 day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
 and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
 which is natural which is infinite which is yes
 (i who have died am alive again today,
 and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
 day of life and of love and wings:and of the gay
 great happening illimitably earth)
 how should tasting touching hearing seeing
 breathing any--lifted from the no
 of allnothing--human merely being
 doubt unimaginable You?
 (now the ears of my ears awake and
 now the eyes of my eyes are opened)


========Original  Message========     Subj: [lit-ideas] Re: Poetry x 2 = 
Sabbatical  Date: 10/13/2006 9:12:51 P.M. Central Standard Time  From: 
lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxx (mailto:lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx)   To: 
_lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx (mailto:lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx)   Sent on:    

Well good grief.   I probably quit reading Cummings some time in the 60s.  
Sue me for being  absent minded.  I don’t recall reading your note exposing 
’s  teacher. 
My recollection was  that he didn’t capitalize his name.  I now see it was 
his publishers that  did that.  Imagine being best known for the unorthodox 
usage of  capitalization.  What a legacy!   I also read his The Enormous Room.  
recall enjoying  that although given its subject matter I can’t remember why. 
Below the  Wikipedia article are a couple of his poems that I liked.  There 
may have  been some more, but I forget. 
From  Wikipedia: 
“Edward Estlin Cummings (_October 14_ 
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_14) , _1894_ 
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1894)  – _September 3_ 
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_3) , _1962_ 
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1962) ), 
abbreviated E. E. Cummings, was an _American poet_ 
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poetry_of_the_United_States) , _painter_ 
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Painter) , _essayist_ 
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essayist) , and _playwright_ 
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Playwright) . His publishers and others have  
sometimes echoed the unconventional capitalization in his poetry by writing his 
name in lower case, as e. e. cummings; Cummings himself  did not approve of 
this rendering. _[1]_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._E._Cummings#_note-0)  
“Cummings is probably  best known for his poems and their unorthodox usage of 
capitalization, layout,  punctuation and syntax. There is extensive use of 
lower case; word gaps, line  breaks and gaps appear in unexpected places; 
punctuation marks are omitted or  misplaced, interrupting sentences and even 
individual words; grammar and word  order are sometimes strange. Many of his 
are best understood when read on  the page. When read in the correct fashion, 
his poems often paint a syntactical  picture as vital to the understanding of 
the poem as the words  themselves. 
Despite Cummings'  affinity for _avant-garde_ 
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avant-garde)  styles and for unusual  typography, 
much of his work is 
traditional. Many of his poems are _sonnets_ 
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonnet) , 
and he occasionally made use of  the _blues_ 
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blues)  form and _acrostics_ 
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acrostics)  as well. 
Cummings' poetry often  deals with themes of _love_ 
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love)  and nature, as well as the  relationship 
of the individual to the 
masses and to the world. His poems are  often satirical as well. But, while his 
poetic forms and even themes show a  close continuity with the romantic 
tradition, his work universally shows a  particular idiosyncrasy of _syntax_ 
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syntax)  or way of arranging individual  words 
larger phrases and sentences. Many of his most striking poems do not  involve 
typographical or punctuational innovations at all, but purely  syntactic ones. 
During his lifetime, he  published more than 900 poems, along with two 
novels, several plays and essays,  as well as numerous drawings, sketches, and 
paintings. He is remembered as one  of the preeminent voices of _20th century  
poetry_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modernist_poetry_in_English) . 
buffalo bill is  defunct
jesus he was handsome man
he used to ride on a white horse
and  shoot clay pigeons
one two three four five
just like that
and what I  want to know is
how do you like your blue eyed boy now
mister death  ? 
pity this busy monster,manunkind,
not.  Progress is a comfortable disease:
your victum(death and life safely beyond)
plays with the bigness of his littleness
-electrons deify one razorblade
into a mountainrange;lenses extend
unwish through curving wherewhen until unwish
returns on its unself.
                                                        A world of made
is not a world of born-pity poor flesh
and trees,poor stars and stones,but never this
fine specimen of hypermagical
ultraomnipotence.  We doctors know
a hopeless case if-listen:there's a hell
of a good universe next door;let's go
 - e. e. cummings
-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Paul
Sent:  Friday, October 13, 2006 6:21 PM
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject:  [lit-ideas] Re: Poetry x 2 = Sabbatical 
Lawrence wrote: 
> I was never very fond of Merwin, and this poem  doesn't cause me to change 
> mind. The ee cummings lack of punctuation doesn't  help, although I don't 
> recall that cummings capitalized even the first  word. 
E. E. Cummings capitalized lots of words, including his  own name. 
I'm peeved because I've written to this very list on  this very topic before 
response to something Julie wrote about what her  daughter's teacher had 
said about Cummings. 
Merwin's lower case style is a recent  phenomenon. 
Robert Paul 

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