Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Poetry is

Poetry is my current obsession. I am reading every night for at least an hour, from old anthologies, new anthologies, poems I scribbled out into a bruised, blue notebook when I was a teenager. I even found a folder full of poems I only half remember painstakingly typing, writing and printing out from our first computer.

I've always loved poetry since I was child, loved its power to express fundamentals in ways that inspired and invoked such powerful emotions in me. Tonight I found in my folder, started some fifteen years ago or more, one of the first poems that started my ongoing love affair (unrequited) with poetry of any kind. e e cummings remains one of my favourite poets, and if you can find on Google, an mp3 track of him reciting this poem (I have heard it online, so I know it exists, I'm not sending you after a golden fleece or anything), then I would recommend it. This poem to me is like an impressionist painting in words. You know what he's telling you, though he's not telling you in language that you will find anywhere but in a poem. Having said that, so many of the lines mean something new to me every time I read them.

On a much simpler level, the language, the words speak, what for me was the first powerful attraction to poetry: the pure magic of how it sounds.

anyone lived in a pretty how town
by E. E. Cummings (pictured above)

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did

Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn't they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain

children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more

when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone's any was all to her

someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then) they
said their nevers they slept their dream

stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)

one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was

all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.

Women and men(both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain

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