Got these and The Once and Future King at the Fully Booked sale. #happy

e.e.

From now on, Wednesday will be poetry day. I will make it a point not to go into lengthy critiques and analyses of the poem, because I do that at school (and by myself) and I don’t want to scare anyone away. The point is really just to share either an old favourite poem or a new poem that I like, and to let the poem and/or poet be in the limelight. This is a poem by Edward Estlin Cummings, who I love because of his play on syntax. His poems are deceptively modernist on first read, but he’s actually quite traditional when it comes to subject matter and even form. Enjoy!

 

8

it may not always be so; and i say
that if your lips, which i have loved, should touch
another’s, and your dear strong fingers clutch
his heart, as mine in time not far away;
if on another’s face your sweet hair lay
in such a silence as i know, or such
great writhing words as, uttering overmuch,
stand helplessly before the spirit at bay;

if this should be, i say if this should be —
you of my heart, send me a little word;
that i may go unto him, and take his hands,
saying, Accept all happiness from me.
Then shall i turn my face, and hear one bird
sing terribly afar in the lost lands.

 

What a haunting last image. This was taken from “100 Selected Poems” of e.e. Cummings, published by the Grove Press, 1959. There’s a number 8 because it’s the eighth in the collection. haha

My Heart Rouses


The above is excerpted from William Carlos Williams’s poem “Asphodel, That Greeny Flower.” The poem in its entirety is also great, I encourage you to read it. I only shared this passage from it because it is also the passage that Dana Gioia cites in her essay on poetry, “Can Poetry Matter?” written in 1992. It’s a great essay to read for those who are concerned with poetry– both writing and reading it. Even those who aren’t, actually. It was a bit of a downer for me, since it talks about contemporary poetry in America and how it has essentially become an enclosed community of ass-kissing colleagues. Doesn’t help much that I think it reflects the state of Philippine poetry with shocking precision–I suppose poets are the same all over?

Gioia does end on a positive note, though, and her suggestions for the restoration of poetry to public culture are solid and encouraging. I won’t list them down or anything. If you’d like to read it (and I encourage you to), heres a link: Can Poetry Matter?

I do think I will start a poem of the week sort of thing. Thanks, Gioia, you definitely roused my heart.

Do read the poem, by the way. :)

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