Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Nothing but babble

This past week I decided to revisit some of the literature produced by the famed late poet E.E. Cummings. In the interest of time, I'm not going to delve heavily into biographical data, writing style, or include an excerpta of his works...except one. I'm sure some of you may have read this poem on your own, or heard it recited (very poorly and melodramatically) in movies that sought to commandeer its beautiful romantic imagery. The poem is named after it's first line, "Somewhere I have never traveled" and is one of the most beautiful love poems in the Cummings repertoire. It does remind me of someone close to me, but I've never asked her what she thinks, or if she's even heard of this poem. Anyway, read it and share it with that special someone in your life. Here it is...

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near
your slightest look will easily unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose
or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

The lack of punctuation was typical of Cummings, as was the manipulation of syntax.

Disclaimer: Let see, how shall I put this. I'm no different than the regular guys you know, which means I don't specifically like poetry. There are some poems, however, that are amazingly beautiful and you'd have to be a dunderhead not to like.



kris said...

Thanks for visiting my blog Tom- I have a book suggestion for you given to me by Father Christian (94, sharp as A TACK, brilliant, 2 PhD's, memory entirely intact and far superior to my own). I don't have the title in front of me but will get it for you- but it covers science and theology and he highly recommended it. Mepkin is the only Trappist (Cistercian) monastery that allows you to FULLY participate in the liturgy- you stand in the choir next to the monks. Their cantor, Fr Aelred has a voice like none I have ever heard in all my life- had he not entered the monastery I've no doubts we would all know his name, probably worldwide and I don't exaggerate. They only ask for a donation if you should decide to go. Website is and there is a link in their to contact Br Stephen (guestmaster) if you ever decide to go. And if you want to hear the voice of this angel, get there before the end of August, he is taking sabbatical soon...

I'm actually going back mid August to spread my mom's ashes... more on that to come in a post when I can actually get my thoughts together.

Now to go and read your blog, which I've not seen before.

I'll get the title of that book as well.

kris said...

I read that poem first at around age 13, 7th grade. That's when I fell in love with poetry and most especially
e.e. cummings. Did you read the Rumi poem I posted just prior to my last post? Another favorite you might appreciate, even being a guy (hehe).

kris said...

Feel free to email me (link on my site) anytime. And just an FYI about Kentucky vs. South Carolina for a Trappist retreat. In Kentucky the retreatants are completely separated from the monks. At Mepkin, you actually stand in the choir with them, often find them walking and talk with them, and have one meal with them... so, it's a bit different and certainly there is tremendous blessing in being able to fully participate in the liturgy.

I read A Grief Observed on my last visit to Mepkin in March. It spoke to me about my own losses so perfectly. Those coals you mentioned? Well, don't bother with all my archives (though my "150 Things" under "important posts" covers a lot)- but to sum it up: June 13-05 he asks for a divorce, 3 months shy of leaving for China to bring our daughter home, adoption cancelled, and mom dies at 69 just 7 months later. So the last 2 years have been the hardest of my life thus far...

The book I mentioned is "Cosmos" by Louis Bouyer- have you heard of it? I haven't read it myself but Fr. Christian lives for his reading and I trust his suggestions would be well worth a go. Another author that was recommended was Brian Swimme.

I just ordered Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris that was recommended to me by the priest I met with on these last 2 visits.

And science I think, at least for me, reveals God. I think of DNA as the bluprint (Love), that has these
3 components: Substance (Father), Pattern (Son) and Motion (Holy Spirit).

It never made sense to me that science so often left God out. In my mind, you can't GET God out. But that's just me. :O)

adele and dan said...

Hi Tom- New here. Love e.e. cummings and read this poem in high school, many years ago. I really enjoy reading your blog. Very thought provoking....